Entertainment

Neil Armstrong's son praises Claire Foy's portrayal of his mother in new film

The Crown star made Armstrong's son ‘very emotional' with her performance.

Claire Foy has been praised for her portrayal of Neil Armstrong’s wife in a new film about the moon landing – by Armstrong’s son.

First Man, based on the life story of Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, sees Ryan Gosling playing the astronaut and Foy as his first wife Janet.

The film tells the story of the Apollo 11 mission of 1969, the publicity-shy Armstrong and his wife, who had to deal with the emotions and fear around watching the potentially dangerous yet historic moment from solid ground with their two sons Mark and Eric.

Mark said that Foy spent time learning as much as she could about his mother in order to prepare for the role, speaking to Janet via Skype before her recent death from lung cancer aged 84.

He told The Mail on Sunday: “(Foy) wanted to know the minutiae. Mum called me Marco and my brother Ricky. She wanted to know the balance and strength of my mother. What she was really like?”

He added, of Foy’s performance: “When I saw her on screen, I was overwhelmed with emotion.

“Mum only passed away recently so, to see her up there, alive and so real… it was incredible.

“Claire captured Mum’s essence. She communicates so many feelings without words. I got very emotional.”

Mark said he is thrilled that the film tells the story of his mother “properly for the first time”, as his father “wasn’t the only hero in the family”.

Foy, 34, best known for her Bafta and Emmy-nominated role as the Queen in Netflix’s lavish royal drama The Crown, has so far been mostly praised by critics for her performance.

Italy Venice Film Festival 2018 First Man Photo Call
Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy at the Venice Film Festival for First Man (Joel C Ryan/AP/PA)

First Man, directed by La La Land’s Damien Chazelle, also focuses on the death of the couple’s daughter Karen in the early Sixties from brain cancer.

Mark said: “I don’t remember her death ever being discussed at home. There was a portrait of her which showed her just before she died. Dad treasured that portrait more than any other possession.

“His way of dealing with grief was to throw himself into work. He was always away. That left Mum home alone to deal with it on her own.”

First Man arrives in cinemas on October 12.

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