Entertainment

Claire Foy hails ‘genius' director Damien Chazelle

The actress stars in the La La Land filmmaker's new movie First Man.

Claire Foy has hailed Oscar-winning director Damien Chazelle as a “genius”.

The Crown star plays Janet Armstrong, the wife of Neil Armstrong, in Chazelle’s new movie First Man, which follows the family in the years building up to the moon landing in 1969.

She told the Press Association: “I didn’t know much about this story, apart from what I had learned that everyone had grown up with.

“I didn’t know anything about her and when I started researching her the more I admired her and loved her and thought she was an extraordinary woman.”

She added: “Jan was, from the off, very, very real about the impact that this was having on her children and on herself and she knew what they wanted from her, the media, and what Nasa wanted from her and she wasn’t going to give it to them.

“And that takes a huge amount of knowing yourself and knowing what the boundaries are and she just knew that instinctively and that was the reality of that situation.”

First Man, which is Chazelle’s first film since La La Land won six Oscars, details Armstrong’s home life, as well as his training with Nasa and eventual mission to land on the lunar surface.

Foy said: “It’s a very human story. I don’t think this is just the story of the moon landing or anything like that, I think it’s the story of a marriage and a family and what they endured and their losses and also their triumphs.

“I think that the more we show on screen people struggling and people going through very real things when people assume that they are a hero or something like that, is the better really, because you get to see the human at the centre of it.”

Discussing working with Chazelle, she said: “He was so collaborative and gives you so much space as an actor and is so respectful and trusts you so much and he gave us so much room to improvise and explore and push the boundaries of scenes.

“I really can’t speak highly enough of him, I think he’s a genius.”

First Man is released in UK cinemas on October 12.

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