The movie, out April 6, follows the events surrounding the 1969 death of Mary Jo Kopechne. Sen. Ted Kennedy (Clarke) was driving Kopechne, a campaign worker for his late brother Robert F. Kennedy, home on the Massachusettes island of Chappaquiddick when he crashed his Oldsmobile through a fence, landing the car in a pond.
Kennedy escaped the submerged car but Koechne remained trapped inside. The Senator waited 10 hours to call for help.
“I was overcome, I’m frank to say, by a jumble of emotions: grief, fear, doubt, exhaustion, panic, confusion and shock,” he said at the time.
The diver who pulled Kopechne’s body from the car said she didn’t drown instantly. A trapped pocket of air temporarily kept her alive, but no autopsy was performed on the body.
Much of this proved new to Clarke, the Australian actor from Terminator: Genisys and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.