10/22/2013 at 10:35 AM EDT
Rob Lowe took a thoughtful approach to playing one of our nation's most beloved public figures, John F. Kennedy.
"I think for known figures, the key is inhabitation, not imitation," Lowe says of his transformation into the 35th President for National Geographic Channel's Killing Kennedy
, based on Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard's book
It airs Nov. 10 – 12 days before the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination.
Lowe had studied the Kennedys for some time, well before he was asked to play the role.
"I've always been an admirer of the Kennedy family and JFK in particular," Lowe says. "I've always had a connection to him, and so throughout my life I've read a lot. A lot. I mean, if there's a book about him or his presidency, I've probably read it. So when this came my way, I was honored to be asked and it's been an amazing experience."
Lowe says he tried to portray the complete man, not just the politician.
"My goal was to play a husband, a father, a brother, a man with a big job who loved and was funny, and smart, and charming, and flawed, and inspired. That was the stuff that I was looking to capture about him," he says. "The goal is just to make him an honest, real man."
, who plays First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, says, "The intimacy and revealing nature of this film, and the captivating narrative, really inspired me."
Seeing Goodwin in her costume for the assassination scenes, Lowe Tweeted
: "Just saw @ginnygoodwin as Jackie Kennedy in the sad and awful blood-stained dress. Extremely emotional."