You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Kennedys turn out for ‘Ethel’

Rory Kennedy's new doc is a tribute to her mother

It was a full court of Kennedys — 35, to be exact — at HBO’s Oct. 15 screening of “Ethel,” Rory Kennedy’s docu tribute to her mother, Ethel.

“I’ve seen it a hundred times, and I can’t watch it without tears,” HBO’s Sheila Nevins said at the Time Warner Center. “There are many levels of this: the mother-daughter aspect, which is very poignant, and this incredible history, shared by one more than the other because Ethel was pregnant with Rory when Robert Kennedy was shot.

“I always wanted to do this film,” Nevins said. “I never thought it would happen.”

Rory said the film chronicles a family life that just happened to be lived on the front lines of history. “What was it like for my mother having 11 children and 19 dogs and horses and zebras and a seal?” she notes. “It’s really documenting, pulling out archival footage that has never been seen before. Hopefully there’s a lot there even for people who are familiar with our family. Even some historians have said they’ve gotten new information from this.”

So what does Ethel Kennedy herself think of the docu? She quickly pivoted to talk about her late husband’s fight for equality and tolerance.

“That was very much what Bobby stood for and what the children learned at the dinner table and carried on in their own lives,” Ethel said. “It’s really great to see it continue to happen. Look at Rory’s life and,” she said, eager to change the subject, “her next documentary is going to be really spectacular.”

Rory smiled, saying, “She’s just happy it’s not going to be ‘Ethel 2.’ ” Actually, her next docu is on the end of the Vietnam war.

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • Anne Hathaway Modern Love

    Anne Hathaway Talks Mental Health Awareness, Playing a Bipolar Woman on Amazon's 'Modern Love'

    In Amazon Prime’s upcoming “Modern Love,” Anne Hathaway sheds light on an important facet of living with mental health issues, playing a bipolar woman who struggles with dating. “We’re all becoming more sensitive, wiser and more cognizant of gentility, and especially emotional gentility. I think those conversations are starting to happen. And I think the desire [...]

  • Margot Robbie, Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron.

    Charlize Theron Could Win Second Oscar for Playing Megyn Kelly in 'Bombshell'

    Charlize Theron walked on stage before a screening of “Bombshell” at West Hollywood’s Pacific Design Center on Sunday night and announced to the crowd, “I’m about to s— myself.” The Oscar winner had good reason to be nervous. The screening of the Jay Roach-directed drama about the fall of Fox News boss Roger Ailes was [...]

  • Charlize Theron speaks at the GEANCO

    Charlize Theron Talks 'White Privilege,' Growing Up During Apartheid in South Africa

    Charlize Theron, during an onstage discussion with her “Gringo” costar David Oyelowo about philanthropy at Thursday’s annual fundraiser for Nigerian children’s educational and health program GEANCO, said she was a beneficiary of “white privilege” while growing up in Apartheid-torn South Africa. “I obviously am a white person who benefited from my white privilege,” Theron said [...]

  • Lyliana Wray, Sam Ashe Arnold, Miya

    ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark’ Revival Team on Living Up to the Series’ Legacy

    The 2019 revival of “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” centers around the Carnival of Doom, a place that star Jeremy Ray Taylor (“It Chapter Two”) describes as “beautiful on the outside, but…in the middle of it, there are definitely dark secrets. Variety caught up with the young star during a carnival-themed celebration at Row DTLA [...]

  • Charlize Theron'The Addams Family' film premiere,

    Charlize Theron Speaks Immigration, Diversity in ‘The Addams Family’

    They’re creepy, they’re kooky, and they’re an allegory for immigration in America.  Charlize Theron discussed the changing face of the nuclear family and her animated film, “The Addams Family,” with Variety at the movie’s recent premiere at the Century City Mall in Los Angeles. “When you think of [the Addams] being around since the sixties, [...]

  • Emma Stone attends the Los Angeles

    Emma Stone Talks 'Cruella' Transformation, New 'Zombieland' Sequel

    Despite inevitable comparisons to Glenn Close’s iconic turn as Cruella de Vil in 1996’s “101 Dalmatians,” Emma Stone teased that her take on the infamous villain in the upcoming “Cruella” movie will be very distinctive. “It comes long before her story,” Stone told Variety at the premiere of “Zombieland: Double Tap” at the Regency Village [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content