When Neil Armstrong took his famous small step onto the surface of the moon, the man inside the suit realized a dream and obligation he had for years.
In a PEOPLE exclusive bonus feature of the upcoming Blu-ray/DVD release of First Man, which explores Armstrong’s life, the astronaut’s son Mark speaks on his father’s motivations.
“Even going back to his Navy days, dad formed very strong friendships and lost very close friends,” Mark says. “I think he always felt he needed to redouble his efforts to make sure that the things that he did, and the way that he did them, would honor those sacrifices.”
Ryan Gosling, who embodied the sometimes-troubled man, also gives insight into how Armstrong was able to see deeper meaning in his actions.
“If you just take, for instance, his sentiments on the moon — he had this incredible ability to see everything in its larger context,” Gosling says. “He could see a giant leap in one step. He could see himself as a man representing his country but also a human being representing mankind.”
He continued, “It might be one of the most famous things ever said. It resonated so profoundly at the time, and it still does. It’s something that’s uniquely Neil. It seemed to permeate the globe with this overwhelming sense of hope. Hope that maybe we had only just begun to scratch the surface of our potential.”
First Man, directed by La La Land‘s Damien Chazelle and also starring Claire Foy, is now available on digital platforms, and hits Blu-ray/DVD January 22nd.