Ryan Gosling & Damien Chazelle contemplated whether the moon landing was faked

Amber Rose attends the 2018 Slutwalk in downtown LA

If A Star Is Born has bashed us over the head repeatedly with its early Oscar campaign, I think First Man has basically waged a campaign of gradual gentle nuzzles. The campaign for First Man hasn’t been wall-to-wall. The two stars, Claire Foy and Ryan Gosling, are not big on giving juicy, controversial quotes to media outlets. In fact, the most talkative person on the film is writer-director Damien Chazelle, who absolutely dominates the conversation in Ryan Gosling’s GQ cover profile. Gosling is barely quoted in his own cover story – instead, Chazelle talks endlessly about the space race and the minutiae of getting all of the mid-century details right and all of the technical aspects right too. It’s an interesting read, but again: Gosling is barely heard from. That’s one way to Oscar campaign – just look pretty and barely say anything. You can read the full cover story here. Some highlights:

On working with Chazelle again, just after La La Land: “I think you spend a lot of time being polite in the first film and respectful of what you imagine the other person’s process is—and so it’s a relief to do a second film, I think, because you’re less precious, and you have a shorthand, and you really feel like you can be more honest, and you’re able to really work.”

Showing the astronauts’ home lives:
“We were so interested in the duality of their lives, how these astronauts were using their flashlight of scientific knowledge to explore the vast mysteries of space, and at the same time, they would have to come home and mow the lawn and take out the trash. We had this term for ourselves: ‘the moon and the kitchen sink.’ And I think that was something we really tried to understand, what those extremes might have been like—and to honor that.”

The Space Race was so American, yet it transcended borders: The space race “is so specifically American,” Gosling notes. And yet it’s a goal that united so many, everywhere on earth. “The amount of hope that it took to achieve this? It sort of permeated the globe, and the world was filled with this hope that maybe we had just scratched the surface of our potential. I think it imbued the world with this sense of hope for the future that, you know, is really unprecedented.… It’s hard to imagine.…”

Damien Chazelle on what he thinks about the theory that the moon landing could have been faked: “To me it was actually the opposite takeaway. I mean, I remember our crew and I would look at each other: ‘If it’s this hard to literally re-create, like, a five-minute version of this event 50 years later… To re-create a live stream, basically, of hours of this event in 1969?’ I’m of the mind-set it would’ve been harder to fake this than to actually do it. At that point, you might as well send people off in a rocket.”

[From GQ]

I know people who still believe the moon landing was faked. Honestly, some of them make compelling arguments! But I have to say, I find Damien Chazelle’s argument more compelling – what would have been easier at that time, faking that kind of realistic moon landing in a studio and keep it a secret for decades, or just spending billions of dollars with the best and brightest engineers working nonstop for a decade to achieve this massive achievement? Anyway, the GQ piece was interesting, although significantly light on Gosling quotes. Basically, I’m in the mood to browse some mid-Century furniture whilst contemplating the kind of pre-computer math skills needed to go to the moon.

Photos courtesy of GQ.

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69 Responses to “Ryan Gosling & Damien Chazelle contemplated whether the moon landing was faked”

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  1. Alissa says:

    my boss and sister are adamant it was faked. I tend to think it’s real, but some arguments are compelling. the one thing I don’t understand is why we or any other nation have never sent a live personn up again.

    • JadedBrit says:

      @Alissa Perhaps NASA is more concerned with learning not only about deep space, but finding potentially habitable planets… Perhaps they’re more concerned with the ISS and its valuable work in developing ways in which to grow sufficient nourishment (as well as all the other research in which they are engaged) to survive in space? Does your sister/her boss deny the existence of the ISS also…?

    • Peanutbuttr says:

      There have been 6 other moon landings

    • Tayspilled says:

      Because it’s a very expensive endeavor to not gather anymore scientific data or do something new. It was a race to see who could win. There is no reason to go back at this point when there is so much other stuff to explore, especially if that exploration can lead to a scientific discovery where the moon is sorted out in terms of discovering.

      • Originaltessa says:

        This. No need to go back. Risk lives and billions of dollars for literally no reason whatsoever. Money is being spent on bigger and better endeavors.

    • Queenb says:

      So why did the Russians who have the biggest motivations of us all to call it fake never said anything about it?

    • Chaine says:

      Actually we have sent other people who also landed on the moon, just look at Wikipedia.

    • Betsy says:

      That is so patently offensive I can’t even. In the first, here’s all the moon missions, manned and unmanned https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_program Second, we clearly did send people up multiple times. Third, you think it’s a compelling argument that NASA incinerated Grissom, White and Chaffee just to keep up the ruse before the ruse had been completed? Fourth, in addition to having to fake the first moon landing, you’d have to also fake all the other moon landings *as well as* all the rockets taking off. That was a big deal all the way through the shuttle program, remember? Well attended, filmed, frequently televised. Fifth, in addition to faking all that, think of the thousands of jobs – the human computers, the engineers, the people who manufactured the rockets…

      No, there really aren’t any compelling arguments for faking the moon landing. The idea should go into the dust bin of history along with birtherism, trickle down economics and the rest of the right wing conspiracy theories.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        “No, there really aren’t any compelling arguments for faking the moon landing.”

        PREACH!!! every “compelling” argument can very easily be disproved.

      • CactusWren says:

        Well said Betsy. My dear friend just trotted out the idea that the footage was initially faked by Kubrick per NASA’s request to psych out the Russians. I love her but I had a major hissy fit and blew that idea off. When people suggest it was faked, I feel like Don Draper staring at Bert:


      • Annalise says:

        Actually there are MANY compelling arguments that the moon landing was faked. First of all, how did the astronauts make it through the Van Allen radiaton belt alive? Levels of radiation that high would very quickly kill any living thing and members of NASA today have even admitted that getting humans through the belt is a challenge that they have not figured out (I guess they forgot that we supposedly already did! Ooops!)
        The primary incentive for faking the landing was the fact that the USSR, US enemy #1, was literally racing us to see WHO could get to the moon first. Couple that with JFK, back in 1960, promised America that we would have people on the moon within 10 years. Incidentally, we ended up “landing” on the moon in 1969, right before the 10 years was up, and do you really think the US government was going to let America think that the Russians had beat us??
        Additionally, the landing on the moon was NOT a live broadcast, rather the footage was sent to the television stations well after the fact but who were instructed to announce the footage as live. This is well documented. There are many, many, many of pieces of evidence but I don’t have the time or space to list them all, but I will leave you with this; Neil Armstrong was asked to describe his view from the moon, he described a deep black sky and NO stars, in fact claimed he could NOT see any stars. This would have been IMPOSSIBLE, unless of course he was blind. About 20 years ago he was asked to put his hand on the bible and swear that he landed on the moon. He refused. WHY would he refuse?? He was a Christian.

      • Betsy says:

        @Annalise – here’s the Van Alen answer (spoiler alert – it’s easily dealt with): https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lNiscigIgBc

        And there’s a children’s book by Bryan Flora called Moonshot that explains why he couldn’t see stars on the moon https://www.amazon.com/Moonshot-Richard-Jackson-Atheneum-Hardcover/dp/141695046X The answer: the moon is too bright with reflected sunlight. Just like you can’t see the stars on earth during daytime. (It’s a great book – the surviving Apollo astronaut said it brought it all back)

        There are no compelling arguments.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        “First of all, how did the astronauts make it through the Van Allen radiaton belt alive? Levels of radiation that high would very quickly kill any living thing and members of NASA today have even admitted that getting humans through the belt is a challenge that they have not figured out”

        wrong. they weren’t IN the belt long enough to have any detrimental effect on them,, and they were protected. a simple google search will explain this to you. and if they haven’t figured it out, how did all of the Space Shuttles go up? How did all of the astronauts and cosmonauts get to the ISS/MIR?

        “Neil Armstrong was asked to describe his view from the moon, he described a deep black sky and NO stars, in fact claimed he could NOT see any stars.”

        there aren’t any in pictures with stars from the landing either…and it’s a very simple scientific explanation involving camera settings and the fact that THE MOON HAS NO ATMOSPHERE like the Earth does so the light won’t scatter. again, google will explain. so will NASA’s website, and quora, and yahoo answers.

        “About 20 years ago he was asked to put his hand on the bible and swear that he landed on the moon. He refused. WHY would he refuse??”

        try wiki for this one…”The other astronauts Sibrel confronts are Michael Collins, Alfred Worden, Bill Anders, John Young and Neil Armstrong. Sibrel did not arrange formal interviews with any of these men, instead accosting them at public events to make his Bible request. For the most part, these astronauts do the best they can to avoid him as soon as they find out that he supports the conspiracy theory.[1] He confronts Armstrong at a meeting of stockholders in New York City.[9] During interviews for the biography, regarding the hoax claims, Armstrong said, “It doesn’t bother me. It will all pass in time.”[10] The Apollo 11 commander refused to go along with his demands and states, “Mr. Sibrel, you do not deserve answers.” Meanwhile, Worden tells Sibrel that his claims of a falsified mission are “totally nonsense.” He says that he has no problem swearing on the Bible of his trip to the Moon, but that he does not feel he needs to do so.”

        Armstrong refused to even entertain the guys idea, because he thought doing so would give the guy some kind of legitimacy. kind of why people want the NY Times to stop doing sympathetic interview with neo Nazis.

        come on, give us the “many, many, many of pieces of evidence” you say exist. I’ll bet a simple google search will debunk all of them, just like mine did for the above.

      • Haapa says:

        A someone who works in science, it really makes my blood boil when people claim the moon landing was faked. Learn some critical thinking skills and how to evaluate your sources of information. For the love of humanity (of which I have very little these days).

    • Zee says:

      Doubting the moonlanding is so old fashioned. All the cool kids have moved on from that long ago. Now we’re Doubting that the moon even exists! My personal favorite is that the moon is a hologram. Some believe that the moon is hollow but I don’t like that theory.

    • Jess says:

      12 people have walked on the moon and many of them spent their entire lives talking and writing books about it. There are thousands of pounds of soil and rock samples collected by human hands and brought back, they still test those samples today! I just think someone somewhere would’ve slipped up and told the truth if they didn’t actually go, there were thousands of people involved in all aspects of the Apollo program.

    • Mama says:

      Grow up. It wasn’t faked. The earth is also not flat. Conspiracy theories are what makes people think Democrats sent bombs to themselves. They are the same people who think the moon landing was faked. And that Hillary ran a pedophile sex ring out of a pizza place.

    • Sojaschnitzel says:

      I was very surprised when a coworker randomly told me the other day that he is convinced that it is fake. Something about not being able to see some rover from here, I didn’t fully get his point. I remember pondering this question myself in university, where multiple people were sure that it happened, and I remember thinking that some of their arguments were compelling indeed, such as pictures with logic flaws. I never made a decision on this for myself. There are some really good questions, but then again: computers existed when I was in university, so did photoshop, and so did people with too much free time on their hands. My preliminary opinion is that it probably happened but people are weird and enjoy photoshopping pictures into questionable “proofs”. Why? Politics maybe. Or utter boredom.

  2. Millenial says:

    I definitely think the big ASIB Oscar campaign might come back to bite them in the butt – they’ll get nominated, sure, but I’m not convinced anyone in HW wants to see them win. They’ll pick a broody Gosling in a biopic before an overly earnest Cooper in a musical.

    • FarahH says:

      If the rating keep falling, I do think they could be pressured into awarding a big crowd-pleasing box office hit like ASIB. The Academy would feel way more comfortable awarding that film than say Black Panther.

  3. Incredulous says:

    *Screams into the void* You can see the stuff they left behind on the moon with a decent telescope *AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH*

    • Reese says:

      Let me be clear, I believe the moon landing did indeed happen. However, as a science geek, it is interesting to note that the “Hubble Space Telescope, the sharpest telescope on or off the Earth, is limited to features larger than 27 metres, which is still not enough to see the landing sites.”

      • Adee says:

        To be fair, NASA has faked things/images in the past that they have even admitted to.
        A decent telescope is the easiest way to prove the moon landing was real….It would allow sceptics to see things left behind on it. Until then, this will be one of the biggest conspiracy theories of all time.

        I can’t say for a 100% fact that I believe it happened, or didn’t happen.

      • Betsy says:

        @Adee – no proof is ever enough for conspiracy theorists. Jess above mentioned the thousands of moon rocks we have from these moonwalks. And those are not enough for you, for example.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        “A decent telescope is the easiest way to prove the moon landing was real….It would allow sceptics to see things left behind on it. Until then, this will be one of the biggest conspiracy theories of all time.”

        as noted above, telescopes exist that DO enable people to see things left behind from the moon landing. So, “until then” is NOW.

        anyone who still believes the moon landing was faked is being willfully ignorant.

        as someone famous once said (Twain, maybe?) “it easier to scam someone than it is to convince them they were scammed”. (not verbatim)

  4. NicNic says:

    “I know people who still believe the moon landing was faked. Honestly, some of them make compelling arguments!”
    NO NO NO. Don’t say things like this. Don’t normalize stupidity and listening to any arguments against things that happened/are real. This is how we get anti-vaxxers

    • Susannah says:

      I know two people who believe the moon landing was faked (and have discussions about it at work) and both of those people are also Trump supporters. Coincidence? I don’t think so!

    • adastraperaspera says:

      I agree! There is no “compelling argument” that the landing was faked. None. Stop this mad descent into the dark ages!!

    • Wicki says:

      Agreed. There are NO “compelling arguments”. Cavalier statements like this are what foster the same ignorance of facts that foster “Pizza-gate” and the “Sandy Hook never happened” nonsense. Honestly I cannot believe we are even having this discussion, and that there are people reading this blog who are “sitting on the fence” about it.

  5. BaBaDook says:

    I think its possible that the actual broadcast was faked, or that they said they made it up earlier than they actually did just to win the space race. But ultimately I think there were other successful missions to the moon. My butt hurts from sitting on this fence, lol.

  6. Juls says:

    Everything else aside, this movie is TERRIBLE. A waste of my time and money. One of the biggest steaming piles I have ever sat through.

    • Betsy says:

      Interesting, why?

      • Juls says:

        Like Jess said below: the entire film was shot in that shaky, blurry way that Cloverfield was filmed. I got a migraine just trying to focus on what was going on. Which could have been overlooked, maybe, if the dialogue wasn’t mumbled and garbled. Which could have been overlooked except the acting was terrible. Also, it was boring and the story was jumbled and didn’t flow well. I’m sure the critics may love it because “biopic” usually scores high. But as far as entertainment value, it reeked.

    • Jess says:

      Lol, I was so excited for this movie and was disappointed as well, but only because my daughter and I got nauseous from all the freaking camera shaking! We had to put our heads down and close our eyes a lot just to get relief. It felt like a documentary, which would’ve been fine if they weren’t bouncing around loud and shaky ass space capsules for half the movie.

      • Chaine says:

        I was going to take an older relative to see it the other weekend since it seemed like a benign biopic that wouldn’t have anything an elderly person would find sketchy, but we didn’t have time. Now that you posted this I won’t! She is migraine prone and won’t enjoy it if the picture is that shaky.

      • BorderMollie says:

        Ugh thanks for the warning, I’m super sensitive to shaky cam and the like. Won’t be bothering!

    • Giddy says:

      Unfortunately, I agree. I knew there might be a problem when there were only two other people at the evening showing. And whereas Apollo 13 was a heroic, patriotic tale, First Man is IMO a downer. It’s fine to contrast the astronauts home and work lives, but a large amount of screen time is spent on the state of Neil Armstrong’s marriage, specifically his wife being pissed off about his job. While that may have been authentic, it felt vaguely depressing. I won’t be recommending this movie to anyone.

    • laura-j says:

      I didn’t care for it either, too many extreme closeups… Like most of the movie, and the Gos had so little dialog, it was a bit of a mess, I don’t think either character smiled more than 2-3 times. Everyone was so miserable… not one second of WOW we are going to the moon. or WOW i just went to the moon. I find it super hard to believe that that being on the freaking moon was such a “meh” moment.

  7. Tiffany says:

    I can see why Gosling was quiet about the topic. He is a Canadian and probably don’t know a whole lot about the subject.

    ‘It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.’

    • Canadianlass says:

      WTF? Are you saying all Canadians are fools? Use Does not or doesn’t instead of don’t.

      Your quote aptly applies to you btw.

    • deezee says:

      You must be mistaking Canadians for Americans. We are quite well-versed in history from other countries.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      A Canadian who has worked in the USA for decades. It seems more like a case of a director who got overly zealous about technical matters. And Gosling tends to be on the quietly modest side.

    • meh says:

      Uh….we are aware of the moon here in Canada, Tiffany.

  8. SM says:

    While Bradley and Gaga are both not good enough actors to convince me they made this metaphysical tale that transformed their friendship into a transcendent parnership of human souls, this bunch is boring as hell. So I am not sure that makes me go and see the movie. And Lala land was a trainwreck.

    • Betsy says:

      I’m about halfway through La La Land and it’s a cute diversion with really pretty lighting, but I guess I don’t see “Oscar.”

      • whatWHAT? says:

        I tried to watch that movie because so many folks I know just loved it, and…

        …I couldn’t sit through more than about 15-20 minutes of it. didn’t engage me at all.

    • EllieMichelle says:

      I just saw A Star is Born and they are both reeeallllyyyy good in it. Honestly there was no need to be so extra. I didn’t go in anticipating anything special but it was fabulous in my opinion. This looks dull and I cannot deal with shaky camera work. I like Claire Foy though. I’d rather see The Girl in The Spider’s Web.

  9. Electric Tuba says:

    I’ll happily go live on the moon to avoid seeing any more movies about people landing on it

  10. Wilma says:

    My great- grandmother always believed the first one was faked to beat the Russians and the rest were real. Something about how fast the Russians were going and not expecting the US to catch up.

  11. Mandy says:

    I loved the movie, it was not sensationalised unnecessarily and had beautiful subtle moments. Ryan and Claire were amazing. But people will definitely like venom more :/

  12. isabelle says:

    If you get a chance watch the video of where Buzz Aldrin punches one of these naysayers in the face after he was harassing Buzz.

  13. ShaniaTwain says:

    The landings were indeed real. People think they were faked partly because we never went back and it’s been so long. Well, look up Karl Wolf’s testimony at Dislosure Project. Someone else owns the moon, as in not the Russians or Chinese or anyone “local.” And look up Neil Armstrong’s “truth’s protective layers” speech at the WH. These guys signed NDAs so tight breaching meant death penalty, probably.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      “People think they were faked partly because we never went back”

      as noted above, THERE WERE SIX MOON LANDINGS.

      why are people so averse to research and fact checking?

      • Shania twain says:

        Er, save us the lecture. I’ve been reading about the space race since I was a teen. This is how we space nerds talk about the Apollo missions – as a whole.

      • Shaniatwain says:

        As in, all the prescheduled years in advance space flights that were part of the Apollo program, to which hundreds of billions in today’s money and a lot of pr had been already committed.

    • Betsy says:

      Lol, no, violating an NDA results in jail time for the biggest violations, not death.

      • Shaniatwain says:

        Military equivalent of nda would most probably have very different consequence. Disclosing classified info, etc.

  14. xflare says:

    NO, there are NO compelling arguments that the Moon Landings were faked.