talkFILM podcast: Olivia Hamilton says researching for First Man movie 'felt like a school project'

talkFILM podcast

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Olivia Hamilton has revealed researching for her role in the film First Man "felt like a school project".

In an interview with the talkFILM podcast, Hamilton, who plays Pat White in the biographical drama about Neil Armstrong's mission to the moon, said: "It was really fun to do that research and to have real people who were alive who could speak to us about it.

"Pretty much everybody that Josh Singer, the writer, could get in touch with that was alive, all the astronauts, relatives, the families and the sons of Neil Armstong, he reached out to. And everybody was really, really willing to be supportive of the project and share any story they knew.



"It felt like a school project where you're this big group riding it together. That felt really special."

The actress said she ordered "a bunch of etiquette videos" to find out how people spoke and behaved in the 1960s, as well as spending time with the real-life daughter of her character Pat.

"I brought her as my date to the Toronto film festival," Hamilton said.

The film was directed by Hamilton's husband, Damien Chazelle, and has been adapted from the book First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong.


'I've never done a film where I was playing a real person'

Hamilton, right, with husband Damien Chazelle at the First Man premiere. Image: Getty

Hamilton revealed that it was the first time she has played a character based on a real-life person.

"I've never done a film where I was playing a real person and also had access to the family of that real person. It just felt like an even more imporatnt responsibility, in honouring a real woman whose children were then going to see the movie.

"I play a character called Pat White who is the wife of the astronaut Ed White who was in Neil's class at NASA and we're also next door neighbours with the Armstrong family."


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