Hi, I’m American film director Damien Chazelle.
As my career has blossomed over the past few years, I’ve made my mark as the creative vision behind critically acclaimed films La La Land and Whiplash. But it is my most recent film, the true account of the Apollo 11 mission which saw Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the Moon, that I wish to address today.
First Man has been widely praised for its accurate depiction of the historical moment that inspired it, and I will be forever grateful to have had the privilege of sharing this film with the world. Sadly, some of that praise was unearned, and it’s time for me to come clean. I can’t bear to keep this secret any longer. It is with great regret that I inform my fans: the Moon landing depicted in First Man was 100 percent staged.
This may not come as news to some, who have for months been categorically dismissed as tinfoil-hat nut jobs. These eagle-eyed moviegoers recognized the hoax almost immediately — I am still amazed by the cunning of those who noticed the Moon’s absence in the location credits. To these fans I offer my deepest apologies. I have stood quietly by while others mocked and ostracized you, all to avoid admitting my own deceit.
Now, there have been many other rumors circulating about the film since its release. Thus far, I’ve chosen to ignore the majority of them — but in the spirit of transparency, I will dispel a few now.
No, Ryan Gosling did not eat toothpaste for six months prior to filming to “prepare,” nor did Corey Stoll.
No, there were no secret deleted scenes involving a scrapped relationship subplot between Buzz Aldrin and a Martian (though the idea was floated in early drafts of the script).
And no, the fact that the movie syncs so perfectly with ABBA’s album Ring Ring was not intentional. But let me be clear: the Moon scenes in First Man were not filmed on location. They were shot in a very intricately-designed soundstage at Universal Studios. My heart is heavy with remorse.
I understand this revelation will not sit well with many, nor should it. I accept whatever consequences await me for my actions. But please, do not be upset with Ryan or Corey. They didn’t know. In our shameless attempt at “authenticity,” we misled them into believing that they would actually be acting on the Moon. We broke the news to them last night that this was indeed not the case. For now, I only ask that you respect their privacy while they process the fact that they were sedated, placed in the “spaceship” by our crew, and told that they had passed out as we entered the Earth’s atmosphere. They deserve better. You deserve better.
I’m a fraud, and I don’t expect to be forgiven. I only wish for the truth to be known. And the truth is, we lied to you. First Man was filmed on Earth.