If you're gonna make a biopic about a famous historical figure, you should prepare yourself for a certain amount of scrutiny from the audience. Should you slip up on even a little bit on the accuracy, they'll take notice, no matter how great the production values and performances are.
While Damien Chazelle's First Man, which chronicles NASA's trip to the moon in 1969, has caused some controversey for omitting the famous flag-planting moment, the film is still incredibly faithful to what actually happened nearly 50 years ago.
"I don't think the movie pulls punches, it's not sentimental, but I could rest comfortably knowing this is the best-researched movie I've ever been part of," actor Corey Stoll (who plays the still-living Buzz Aldrin) told a press conference at the Toronto Film Festival on Tuesday (via The Hollywood Reporter).
This supports what Chazelle said last month about using real NASA equipment and spacesuits from the 1960s in order to immerse the audience in that time period.
Aldrin, 88, was the second man to ever step on the moon after Neil Armstrong (portrayed by Ryan Gosling in the movie), and visited the First Man set on the final day of production. According to Stoll, the legendary astronaut's piece of advice to him involved his scalp.
"He said he could recommend somebody to look at my hair," said Stoll (Ant-Man).
As the first movie to ever tell this story, there was a lot of expectation riding on Chazelle, especially since Armstrong was notorious for refusing to give his account over to writers and directors while he was still alive. He only ever spoke to James Hansen, who wrote First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, the book on which the film is based.
Nevertheless, Armstrong's two sons, Rick and Mark, have seen the finished product and believe that their father would very much approve of Chazelle's vision.
"I do think he'd be pleased with the result," Rick said. "I just want to congratulate you for the great work you did," Mark added, speaking to Chazelle.
Written by Josh Singer (Spotlight), First Man will take one giant leap for mankind when it opens in theaters Oct. 12. The cast also features Claire Foy, Kyle Chandler, and Jason Clarke.