EXCLUSIVE: Interview With ‘Chappaquiddick’ Producer Mark Ciardi

Anders Hagstrom | Justice Reporter

Mark Ciardi ditched his career as a Major League Baseball pitcher to join the film industry in 1995. Now, he’s the producer for “Chappaquiddick,” a movie documenting then Sen. Ted Kennedy’s 1969 crash that took the life of young Mary Jo Kopechne.

The movie takes place during the week between Kennedy’s crash and his TV speech explaining the incident to Massachusetts voters, Ciardi told The Daily Caller News Foundation. With a lot of in-family politics shown, the movie portrays what happened inside the Kennedy family as its newest presidential hopeful had those hopes dashed.

Ciardi clarified that the movie steers clear of many of the conspiracies surrounding the crash, such as that Kennedy was never even in the vehicle when it careened off the Chappaquiddick bridge into the water. The Kennedy family hasn’t reached out regarding the film, Ciardi said. He doesn’t imagine the family is happy with it, but believes the writers and directors gave the story a fair treatment.

Kennedy won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 1970, just over a year after the crash, implying that Massachusetts voters sympathized with him. Ciardi isn’t sure whether the election would’ve had the same result if voters had the chance to see “Chappaquiddick.”

The movie stars Jason Clarke as Kennedy and Kate Mara of “House of Cards” fame as Kopechne. It releases April 6.

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