He is perhaps the most portrayed president in American history.
But fans of The Crown can expect to see a different side of John F. Kennedy when he appears in the show’s second season.
On the surface, Micheal C. Hall’s Kennedy may seem ever the charming and inspiring leader, underneath the facade is a jealous, controlling husband and a high functioning drug addict.
The Netflix drama, which focuses on the lives of the British royals, pulls no punches as it portrays JFK as a scheming conniver who is prone to sudden outbursts when he away from the public’s gaze.
The Netflix drama, which focuses on the real lives of the British royals, pulls no punches in its portrayal of JFK and Jackie Kennedy
Micheal C. Hall’s JFK (pictured left) appears to be ever the charming leader (right, is the real JFK) in the second season of The Crown, but underneath the facade he has a dark side
His relationship with women and especially his wife Jackie Kennedy (played by Jodi Balfour) is also less than flattering, as he’s shown being jealous and even getting rough with his wife.
She later reveals her and her husband’s dependence on drugs.
Hall told Entertainment Weekly that the award-winning series took ‘some risks in terms of how and what it was depicting’ of JFK.
But he said that the prospect of playing the beloved US president as an abusive drug addict never fazed him.
‘Not given what I know to have been true about him,’ said the actor, famed for his roles in Six Feet Under and Dexter.
JFK’s relationship with women and especially his wife Jackie Kennedy (played by Jodi Balfour) is also less than flattering, as he’s shown being jealous and even getting rough with his wife
A photo of the real visit the Kennedys took to see the royal family in England. (L-R): John F. Kennedy; Queen Elizabeth II; Jackie Kennedy, and Prince Philip
Hall notes that the award-winning series took ‘some risks in terms of how and what it was depicting’ of JFK
JFK, a serial womanizer, was on a cocktail of drugs during his presidency to cope with various medical ailments, according to medical records.
He first used steroids to treat his autoimmune deficiency, then turned to painkillers when they damaged his bones. When he found the painkillers slowing him down, he began taking amphetamines.
Presidential historian Robert Dallek, a history professor at Boston University, told ABC claims Kennedy suffered from colitis, prostatitis, and Addison’s disease, which affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar and sodium, and osteoporosis.
Medical records reveal that Kennedy was taking a mix of drugs ncluding codeine, Demerol and methadone for pain; Ritalin, meprobamate and librium for anxiety; barbiturates, thyroid hormone; steroids, antihistamines, and more.
‘He was very much a functional addict — initially by necessity and then he was managing the side effects. I think he had his own Dr. Feelgood and that was part of the picture.’
The 46-year-old added that it was interesting to examine JFK’s relationship with women in the wake of the recent Harvey Weinstein scandal and #MeToo campaign (pictured os him as JFK and his on-screen wife Jackie)
Hall noted that JFK’s womanizing ways were not public knowledge at the time – although his wife was well aware of his wandering eyes
The show also examines the awkward interaction between the regal, and even icy Queen Elizabeth II (right), and the charming and glamorous first lady (left)
The 46-year-old added that it was interesting to examine JFK’s relationship with women in the wake of the recent Harvey Weinstein scandal and #MeToo campaign.
‘His relationship with women was certainly a well-kept secret back then but at this particular moment is an interesting thing to examine and reveal,’ he said.
Hall added that he’d felt a little pressure when it came to playing such an iconic leader.
‘It was somewhat daunting, obviously, to breathe life into somebody so iconic and who had life breathed into him by so many other people. But that was also exciting,’ he said, adding that he’d never worked on a show where the set’s feel so sumptuous and authentic.
The show also examines the awkward interaction between the regal, and even icy Queen Elizabeth II, and the charming and glamorous first lady.
The second season of The Crown premieres on Netflix on December 8.