Rob Lowe to play President John F Kennedy in US TV drama

National Geographic will premiere the film close to the 50th anniversary of the president’s assassination

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He might only be Pawnee’s city manager in his current role in US sitcom Parks and Recreation, but Rob Lowe will soon be taking a step up the political ladder to play President John F Kennedy in National Geographic’s Killing Kennedy.

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The factual drama will feature Lowe as the commander in chief and Once Upon a Time actress Ginnifer Goodwin as first lady Jacqueline Kennedy and is set to air close to the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination on 22 November.

Lowe is best known for his roles in ‘80s films such as The Outsiders and St Elmo’s Fire. He also reigned in fictional politics as deputy White House communications director Sam Seaborn in The West Wing.

Lowe will be reunited with the show’s director Nelson McCormick to shoot a screenplay by Kelly Masterson (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead). Filming is set to begin next month in Richmond, Vancouver. 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Michelle Trachtenberg also joins the cast as Marina Oswald. Her onscreen husband, suspected gunman Lee Harvey Oswald, has yet to be cast.

“We are thrilled to be working with Rob Lowe, Ginnifer Goodwin and Michelle Trachtenberg, three gifted artists who have responded to this timely, authentic and entertaining material,” said Howard T Owens, president of National Geographic Channels, in a statement made on Tuesday.

“With Killing Kennedy timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK, National Geographic Channel continues to bring daring, culturally significant television events to our growing global audience.”

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Killing Kennedy is based on a book by Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly and author Martin Dugard. National Geographic previously aired Killing Lincoln, another adaptation of the TV commentator’s book, and the most-watched programme in the channel’s history.