Ryan Gosling Will Play Neil Armstrong in A New Biopic & He's Totally Prepared For This Role
While Ryan Gosling's not busy flying into your daydreams, he'll be taking another trip — to the moon. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the heartthrob known as Gosling will be playing Neil Armstrong in an upcoming biopic. Hey, girl. Sit down. Get comfortable. Put on this spacesuit. It's about to be an unforgettable ride.
For the film — called First Man — Gosling will again partner up with director Damien Chazelle (director and writer behind this year's La La Land starring Gosling and Emma Stone). The project's title comes from the book on which its based — First Man: A Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James Hansen. Josh Singer, also known as the Oscar-winning co-writer of Spotlight, will pen the screenplay. Per The Hollywood Reporter, First Man will cover NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon between the years 1961 and 1969. (So, the most important parts.)
If none of that gets you stoked about the project — are you kidding me?! — consider how equipped Gosling is to take on the role. When you strip Gosling of his hype, his "Hey Girl" memes, and his general fangirl-inciting face, you're left with one of the most talented actors of this generation. He's found success in both the indie and mainstream film scene. He can do romance, comedy, drama, and most of the time, he peppers in all three at once.
Gosling's no stranger to playing brave, risk-taking characters. Take for instance, Luke Glanton, the motorcycle stunt man in Derek Cianfrance's A Place Beyond the Pines. Or the Hollywood stunt driver who moonlighted as a getaway driver in Drive. What do these roles have in common with Armstrong? They all revolve around a man doing dangerous things with differing modes of transportation.
Consider this as well: Gosling has already played real-life characters. He took a turn as a man loosely based on Robert Durst in All Good Things. In The Big Short, Gosling's character, Jared was based on the real life Greg Lippmann. Though the two couldn't have been more different — a real estate heir charged with murder and a smarmy salesman — he nailed both.
Gosling became visible to most of the female population when he starred alongside Rachel McAdams in The Notebook, but it wasn't until Half Nelson, a film about a drug-addicted eighth grade teacher, that Gosling's acting range became glaring. Here was an actor who could bring in huge numbers at the box office and commit himself to a gritty, dark, personal role. Here was an American treasure. (Guess who else was an American treasure?) (You know what I'm going to say.) (Armstrong.)
Though the Armstrong biopic doesn't sound as distressing as some of Gosling's most interesting work, it won't be easy to portray different facets of a man so heavily revered. A tough task, but if he does it well, that's one small step for Gosling and one giant leap for... also Gosling.