Astronaut Chris Hadfield on ‘Gravity’

The retired astronaut's thoughts on Alfonso Cuaron's blockbuster movie.

One question Adam (and a lot of you guys) really wanted to find out was what Chris Hadfield thought about Alfonso Cuaron’s movie Gravity. We’ve talked about the film on our podcast, so you know that we all really loved it. Specifically, Adam asked Hadfield how he thought the filmmakers communicated the experience of being in space. Here’s what the retired astronaut had to say about the movie, which he saw at the Toronto International Film Festival:

“So what did you [the audience] think of Gravity? [Crowd, including NASA Ames staff, cheers and applauses.] Did anybody find any technical flaws with it? [Everyone laughs.] Here’s what happened to me. I got an invitation to the Toronto International Film Festival, which was the North American premiere of the movie. And I think I was the first astronaut to see the movie. So, I’m in the theater, watching the whole thing, and I realized that someone’s going to ask me–like you did–what I thought about it. I’d never been to a film festival before–there’s like a thousand of us in this beautiful theater. And then at the end of the movie, out comes the director, the writers, the producer, and Sandra Bullock. They all walk out on stage. They’re answering questions from the audience, and some guy’s going ‘ooh ooh ooh–I hear Commander Hadfield is in the audience! What did he think about the movie?’

So I ran down and jumped up on stage with the folks there, and the director comes up to me and says: ‘be kind.’ Which I thought was perfect. So I said: Number one, I’m glad none of those things happened to me when I was living on the space station, because it looked like Sandra had a really hard time with it.

But I also said that this is the most visually correct–the most visually compelling and realistic visuals that I’ve ever seen in any space movie. The visuals of the immensity of the openness of a space walk. I’ve done two space walks, and the fact that you have the universe not above you, like you normally do, but the universe beside you, and below you, and all around you. And the Earth is in fact next to you and not some sort of orientational reference for you–those huge visuals were spectacularly good.

And then the third thing I said was that if I ever fly in space again, I want to fly with Sandra! And then I jumped off the stage and ran back to my seat.”

More from Adam’s conversation with Chris Hadfield throughout the week, here on Tested.

Comments (6)

6 thoughts on “Astronaut Chris Hadfield on ‘Gravity’

  1. I don’t know what Col. Hadfield has planned for his retirement but, IMHO, he would be a natural host for some type of science education show or web series in the Bill Nye vein. He is articulate, passionate and he certainly has the street cred (maybe “orbit cred” might be better in this case) to pull it off. Maybe Norm and Will can snag him as a contributor to Tested in the future!

  2. I wonder if Tested might reach out to Story Musgrave and get some of his commentary on the space program, it’s current state and where he thinks it should go. I always found his commentary to be very insightful and direct.

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