Ethel Kennedy isn't one to share, in spite of film about her

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Ethel Kennedy

Ethel Kennedy and her daughter Rory Kennedy. (Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune / October 11, 2012)

Ethel: No!

Q: OK! Rory, when your mom agreed to do the film, were you taken aback?

Chris: Well, basically what happened was, HBO wanted to make the movie. Rory didn't want to say no to HBO because no one wants to say no to HBO. So she figured my mother would say no to HBO because she said no to everything else. And my mother said yes, and Rory had to make the movie. That was the deal.

Ethel: See, that's what I mean about moving it along.

Q: Rory, did you feel like you needed to get the OK from your brothers and sisters?

(Big laugh from the room.)

Rory: To do a film about my mother? No.

Chris: Apparently not.

Rory: No. I did not feel like I needed their approval to do a film about my mother.

Chris (joking): We have a family call every Thursday to discuss global Kennedy family issues.

Q: On the Bat Phone?

Chris: Right! Who's gonna run (for office) from where? That's what we talk about during those calls.

Rory: No, you know, at some point I decided — in looking through all the archival footage — that the kids were always in the footage, that I wanted their perspective, and I felt like it would add something.

Q: That makes sense. And everybody was automatically like, “Yeah, that sounds good”?

Rory: Yeah, everybody was really ... um ... I think ... I think it was, you know ... part of it is that there are a lot of wonderful things about our story, but there's also a lot of sadness, right? So it's hard to ask family members to revisit some of these more difficult moments. So that's a hard thing for me, and probably a hard thing for them, but I don't want to speak for them. But it's hard on that level. But I think everybody has so much respect and love and admiration for my mother that they wanted to help tell her story.

Q: I understand. Ethel, let me turn to you. I know your family is from Chicago. Tell me about your Chicago origins.

Ethel: I was born here, and I grew up here until I was 4 years old.

Q: Do you remember what part of town you lived in?

Ethel: The South Side. Drexel Boulevard.

Rory: You remember the parish, right?

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