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Ryan Gosling in First Man: The Real Rocket Man

Ryan Gosling'First Man' premiere and Opening Ceremony, Arrivals, 75th Venice International Film Festival, Italy - 29 Aug 2018

Ryan Gosling stars as Neil Armstrong in First Man

First Man starring Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy opened the Venice Film Festival to a three-minute standing ovation.

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Ryan Gosling with costar Claire Foy and director Damien Chazelle

But don’t expect reviews of the film about the first man on the moon to be full of rocket ship metaphors. The film, from what I’m reading, doesn’t so much as blast off as it does immerse the audience into the pilot’s seat. 

And Gosling—you know he’s my If I was thirty years younger crush—doesn’t sound like he offers a soaring rendition of Neil Armstrong, blazing his way into history. Instead, according to David Rooney in the Hollywood Reporter, Gosling pays tribute to Armstrong’s true nature, he is quiet, introspective, serious and subdued.

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The real Ryan is a seriously funny guy who loves to laugh


My husband, cracking Ryan Gosling up on the set of Drive

Gosling downplays his natural charisma here to portray a man simply intent on doing a job, approaching it with the utmost seriousness and without ego. Armstrong shows zero willingness to consider what he’s doing in any self-aggrandizing historical context, his taciturn demeanor proving frustrating to the press, which wants uplifting soundbites. That makes the characterization almost antithetical to the standard Hollywood conception of a historically significant figure of this type. 
Instead, Gosling pulls you in on an intimate level, whether Armstrong is tackling life-or-death situations midmission or simply staring at the moon from his backyard, as if the distant image somehow holds the secret to a successful landing. It’s a subdued, almost self-effacing performance that nonetheless provides the drama with a commanding center.
The actor credits NASA and the astronaut’s family for help in creating his respectful rendition of a real American hero.

Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong: Based on Bio by James R. Hansen
“I’ve never had more help in my life on a film… Whether it was Neil’s sons or his late ex-wife Janet or Neil’s sister, his childhood friends… NASA opened the door to the facilities. Neil was a very famously introspective quiet humble person so the challenge was to honor that but also to create windows into what he might be or had been experiencing emotionally at the time.”
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“I thought what I should do was learn how to fly.” But not too long in, when the instructor told him to take the plane into a controlled stall, “I thought in that moment, ‘This is a terrible idea and there was a reason why Neil Armstrong was destined to be one of the greatest pilots and I’m not.’ In that moment, I realized something about Neil. It’s a certain kind of person that will get into a plane and intentionally push it to its breaking point for the sole purpose of pushing our aeronautics forward.”
We shared the first trailer back in June. Here’s trailer number two for First Man which opens October 12.