Ryan Gosling defends Neil Armstrong biopic 'First Man' leaving out American flag in moon landing scene

“First Man,” the Neil Armstrong biopic that tells the tale of the 1969 moon landing, has stolen the show at several international film festivals — but not everyone is happy.

The film fails to show one of the most integral moments of American history – when Armstrong plants the American flag on the moon, according to The Telegraph. Ryan Gosling, the Canadian actor who portrays Armstrong in the movie, defended the decision to not show the flag.

Gosling was asked at the Venice Film Festival whether omitting the scene was deliberate and the actor attempted to sidestep the question by responding that the moon landing “transcended countries and borders.”

Ryan Gosling defended the decision to omit the flag planting scene.

Ryan Gosling defended the decision to omit the flag planting scene. (Daniel McFadden/Universal Pictures via AP)

“I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement [and] that's how we chose to view it,” he told reporters. "I also think Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts, and time and time again he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible.”

Gosling said he didn’t think Armstrong “viewed himself as an American hero.”

“From my interviews with his family and people that knew him, it was quite the opposite. And we wanted the film to reflect Neil."

Gosling jokingly admitted he might have “cognitive bias” being that he’s Canadian.

Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin plant an American flag on the surface of the moon in July 1969.

Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin plant an American flag on the surface of the moon in July 1969. (NASA)

Before his passing in 2012, Armstrong said that it wasn’t up to him whether the American flag or a United Nations flag should’ve been planted, The Telegraph noted.

“In the end it was decided by Congress that this was a United States project. We were not going to make any territorial claim, but we were to let people know that we were here and put up a U.S. flag,” he said.

“First Man” is set to hit theaters on Oct. 12.