"You're a group of guys who make models with balsa wood, you do not have anything under control!" Janet Armstrong screams in First man after the mission control turns off the squawk box that allows her to listen to her husband during his flights. Out of the releases, which are full of excitement driven by nature and technology, this and another of Janet's great scenes are the most animated scenes and inspired by the characters in the film. While Neil Armstrong was retained and passive, Janet was blunt and practical. The movie could be about Neil, but Janet did not have a small role.
In the movie, Janet is played by The crown the star Claire Foy, who turns her English accent into Janet's mid-west and, yes, puts a "group of children" in her place. "There was so much that I learned about her that I really admired and loved," says Foy about the real Janet shortly after. First manpremiere "I think what I really loved about her was that she said that if she did not feel like she was challenging herself every day, she really did not feel like she was living her life."
And Janet faced many challenges. "I think that raising two children on your own is very difficult," says Foy. "I think that raising you on your own should also be the decorative figure, the ideal American housewife, and also deal with the fact that the man you love can die at any time, continuously, that you see your best friend's husband, and your closest friends die, while you yourself have lost several people very close to you, all those things, she had spoiled everything. "
As difficult as it is to imagine going into space, it is almost as difficult to imagine being a spouse left on Earth. Neil (played in First man by Ryan Gosling) he was risking his life with each mission, but with every risk he took, he put Janet in the position of potentially losing her husband and the father of her children. This in addition to the fact that the couple had already experienced a great loss when their daughter Karen died after suffering brain cancer at two years. It's easy to think, Oh, I could never do what Janet did.
"Well, I mean, you either do it or you do not, do not you?" Says foy "There is no middle ground, or you go on with life or not, and I think she did what many people would not give credit for doing, which is only to expect something better, to believe everything." All this misery and sadness and pain, something must be learned, something, surely, at some point, it must come from everything. "
One of the most difficult moments in Janet and Neil's relationship occurred when Neil was preparing for the Apollo 11 mission; The one that would take him to the moon. (Later they divorced in 1994, according to The Daily Beast). He had not talked to his children, Rick and Mark, about the reality of the situation, that he might not return, and Janet basically convinced him, which shows through a powerful scene from Foy. The actor says that this was something they knew had really happened, because Rick and Mark, whom she, Gosling, film director Damien Chazelle and writer Josh Singer met several times, told her.
"When you play a scene like that, when you know it actually happened, I think you owe it to the reality of that circumstance to reproduce it in all possible ways, so we only spent 14 hours doing that scene, and one and the other and another and another in different ways, with different intensities, with different lines, to make sure that, in the end, we feel that we bleed it. " Foy adds: "I really loved doing it even though it was not particularly, it was not nice, it was really challenging, but I loved having the opportunity to play a scene like that."
First man He has faced some criticism for not showing enough of Janet and lacking the perspectives of women. And maybe he could have shown more of Janet; Rich Juzwiak of Jezebel put forward the idea that the whole story is told from his point of view, but the movie does not make her a complacent wife either. And foy believe First man It's telling Janet's story, at least more than we've heard so far, almost 50 years after the lunar landing.
"On the surface, many people have referred to her, she only has one wife, or only this, only that," says Foy. "But she just was not, those women were constantly living their lives while the men went to work, and it's just that nobody wanted to tell their particular story until now."
Unfortunately, Foy could not meet Janet, who died in June, just a few months before the movie premiere. But he could hear Janet's recordings interviewed by Chazelle and learned a lot about who was inside.
"She never blew her own trumpet, she never waited for herself, she just did what she thought was right and what seemed right, and that was really true," she says. "I was really so grateful to meet her that way."