Earlier this year, the A&E-owned History Channel canceled plans to broadcast the highly-anticipated miniseries about America's political royalty, “The Kennedys,” claiming it was factually inaccurate.
Showtime then passed on it, as did DirecTV’s 101 Network, and, reportedly, FX and Starz, before ReelzChannel officially acquired the U.S. rights.
The series' two stars, Katie Holmes (Jackie Kennedy) and Greg Kinnear (President John F. Kennedy), still don't understand what all the fuss was about.
“[The controversy] was absolutely a surprise to me like it was to everyone else. I don’t think anyone else saw it coming,” Holmes told FOX411's Pop Tarts column at Monday's star-studded series premiere. “It’s a very entertaining story about a very powerful family that lives in intense times with lots of drama.”
Kinnear was simply relieved that American audiences finally have the chance to see the series for themselves.
“I was surprised about [the controversy], everybody was,” he said. “I think it has all died down for the most part, and now people can decide how controversial it actually is, and that’s the great thing about this country, and I’m looking forward to that.”
The cast was also full of praise for ReelzChannel CEO Stan Hubbard for giving “The Kennedys” a home after other networks refused.
“We weren’t too worried that it wouldn’t be seen, we found a great champion in Stan Hubbard and the ReelzChannel so we are very pleased,” Barry Pepper (who plays Bobby Kennedy) told us. “I don’t know that there are going to be any surprises, there is so much information out there about the Kennedys – they are American aristocracy. They are the Beatles of political arena, I don’t know that there is anything new there that we could have revealed. What is fascinating is a behind-the-scenes look at their lives, it was an intriguing journey.”
Kristin Booth, who played Ethel Kennedy, was just as confident in the series’ accuracy.
“[The History Channel] put so much behind it and were so supportive of it, so then just to yank it off the air like that was pretty crazy,” Booth said. “We were very conscious of being as true to the historical facts as possible, so we know it will be well received.”
Holmes was, however, at least a little anxious about bringing the former First Lady to life on the small screen.
“Playing a character like her is daunting because so many people have their idea of who she was and they have their love for her, so I got to work and did a lot of research and I discovered even more how amazing she was, and how much she did for the arts,” said Holmes, who was joined at the screening by husband Tom Cruise. “She brought amazing artists into the White House. She restored the White House, and had very small young children when she took on the role as First Lady so I realize how strong she was. When I really sat down and did all the research I thought ‘wow, she was very wise and very much beyond her years.’”
Kinnear was also nervous about filling Kennedy's shoes, and almost didn’t sign on.
“(I was very) apprehensive, nothing but apprehension. I was very, very nervous – it was like bungee jumping. You get right up to the edge, you want to walk away but I think part of my fear and concerns about doing it was the same thing that led me to do it,” he said. “I thought it would be exciting and to play a man like Jack Kennedy was an incredible honor.”