Elisabeth Moss Will Play JFK's Troubled Sister, Rosemary Kennedy, in This Revealing New Biopic
'The Handmaid's Tale' star will shed new light on Rosemary Kennedy, who was kept in the shadows due to a mental disability.
Elisabeth Moss is known for masterful portrayals of fascinating female roles. Now she's tackling one of her most challenging yet as Rosemary Kennedy in upcoming biopic, A Letter From Rosemary Kennedy. According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Handmaid's Tale star will play JFK's forgotten sibling in Ritesh Batra's new film.
Rosemary, who was one year younger than her brother, President John F. Kennedy, was the third of Joseph P. Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald's nine children. Throughout her life, she was kept in the shadows due to a mental impairment that profoundly impeded her education. After years of behavioral issues and academic struggles, her father sent her to receive a prefrontal lobotomy. Tragically, the procedure — a new, somewhat experimental one at that time — left her debilitated. She was 23.
Following the lobotomy, Joseph arranged for her to live at Saint Coletta's, a Catholic mental health facility in Wisconsin. She lived there for 60 years before she passed at the age of 86 in 2005.
In a 2014 interview with People, Rosemary's nephew, Timothy Shriver, called her disability "our family secret."
In a statement, Batra said he was excited to tell Rosemary's tale alongside an actress of Moss' caliber:
"The movies about the Kennedy family are deservedly stormy affairs, but here's a story about the storms within all of us," he said. "This is why I am excited to tell this story, and to collaborate with Elisabeth, a fabulously talented actor."
Moss has also recently completed a film adaptation of Anton Chekhov's classic play, The Seagull, and a star-packed dramedy, Old Man and the Gun, which will both premiere some time in 2018.