How 'Jackie' Costars Natalie Portman and Peter Sarsgaard Prepared to Play Jackie Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy

To play one of America’s most famous First Ladies, Jackie Kennedy, Natalie Portman closely studied her subject’s life and mannerisms. But one of the key building blocks for her acclaimed performance, which has been generating Oscar buzz since it premiered at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year, were Kennedy’s iconic fashions. “Many of the clothes in the film are very emotional,” Portman tells Yahoo Movies, pointing to the pink pillbox suit that Kennedy was wearing when her husband, John F. Kennedy, was assassinated in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. “Before the assassination, it has this sense of foreboding, and then afterwards it is a symbol of the tragedy and heaviness of the entire experience.”

In contrast, Portman’s co-star in the film, Peter Sarsgaard, tells us that sartorial choices played less of a role in his approach to playing President Kennedy’s brother, Robert. “When I was playing Bobby, I didn’t really look in the mirror that much,” he confesses. “I put on the suit, which was a size too big. If you watch him, all of his suits are just hanging from him.” Instead, Sarsgaard focused on capturing an important element of Kennedy’s inner life. “A lot of times, he comes across publicly as a soft person. I’d read about how he was actually quite tough, so I had to remember that’s in there also.”

Related: ‘Jackie’ Director Pablo Larraín on Casting Natalie Portman as Mrs. Kennedy: ‘I Couldn’t Imagine a Movie Without Her