#TIFF18: “FIRST MAN” PRESS CONFERENCE
Words and Photo by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
The morning after its Canadian Gala Premieres, TIFF held the Press Conference for Damien Chazelle’s First Man. In attendance were Chazelle, Stars Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Kyle Chandler, Corey Stoll, Patrick Fugit and Olivia Hamilton, along with Astronaut Neil Armstrong’s sons Rick and Mark Armstrong. The Film chronicles the true story of Armstrong and his journey towards becoming the first man to walk on the moon.
Having made critically acclaimed Oscar-winners Whiplash and La La Land (which won the People’s Choice Award at TIFF ’16), Chazelle says he was drawn to First Man because he wanted to show “the cost of a goal and the cost of a certain kind of ambition.” Gosling was drawn to Chazelle’s take because he felt the Film “wanted to uncover the man behind the myth.” Armstrong had said no to writers who wanted to write about his life story for years, before saying yes to Author James Hansen. Hansen’s book provided the basis for the Movie, and a framework for Chazelle and Writer Josh Singer to make the Film as thoroughly researched and authentic as possible. According to Armstrong’s sons, the man himself would be “pleased with the [final] result.”
The Cast had nothing but positive things to say about Chazelle’s process, with Foy noting that the Cast’s relationships “were seamless” from rehearsals to filming. Stoll said that working on the Movie was “a dream come true. I felt like a kid going to space camp.” “It was had to relate to [Armstrong’s] genius, his heroism and his humility,” Gosling said, “But it was an honour to be involved.” Whether the Film hits the same Oscar highs many are currently predicting is still to be determined, but the Film’s lasting legacy may be the same as Armstrong’s own legacy. Talking about his Dad, Mark Armstrong said of the successful Apollo 11 mission that “It inspired and motivated an entire generation to be better.”
First Man screens on Sunday, September 9 at 2:00PM at Ontario Place Cinesphere, Monday, September 10 at 4:00PM at Elgin Theatre and 6:00PM at Roy Thomson Hall, Tuesday, September 11 at 11:00AM at Princess of Wales Theatre, Saturday, September 15 at 9:30PM at Princess of Wales Theatre and each day from Wednesday, September 12 to Sunday, September 16 at 6:00PM at Scotiabank Theatre.