Every kid goes through an astronaut phase, where they become absolutely obsessed with space and stars, and Patrick J. Adams is no different. In fact, it turns out starring in Nat Geo and Disney+‘s new series The Right Stuff is actually a longtime childhood dream come true for him.
“I read the book when I was a kid,” Adams told reporters on the set of The Right Stuff back in 2019. “That book was easily my favorite book growing up, probably because it was like the only book I’d ever actually read when I was like 14, fully all the way through and loved. And then I watched the film, and I just became obsessed with space, I think like any little kid can. And so when I saw the script for this, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, of course, they have to do this. This is perfect.’…The only problem with the film is that it can’t contain everything that’s in that story… [I knew] that there was so much more to the story that could never be told in either the book or the film that I was like, ‘Of course! If they get this right, there it is. It’s an amazing opportunity to tell a story that quite literally has never been told.””
Over the course of the eight episodes in Season 1, The Right Stuff will attempt to dig deeper and tell a full story of the seven Mercury astronauts, who became famous both during their own time and in the halls of history. And if you think you know these men, you should prepare to see a very different side of them than previous films and novels have typically portrayed.
Adams plays Major John Glenn, who became a national hero as the first American to orbit the Earth. Adams said that when it comes to playing someone as iconic as John Glenn, there was a lot of pressure to get it right and do the character and the person he’s based on justice.
“There’s a lot of responsibility to all these characters, so there was the initial excitement and then there’s pure terror,” the actor said. “It’s so hard to get beneath the surface of him because John was so exquisitely good at cultivating his image from the very early on. I found stuff he was writing from when he was like a schoolboy. He just has this tinge of like, ‘You knew someone would be in an archive reading this thing about you.’ …I think that he is like a religious man who had maybe the strongest faith of the bunch. There was some like pull that was like more spiritual — something bigger, some bigger calling that can get wrapped up in ego and trying to force your way to the top of the heap. But I think there was something really pure there that was motivating him. So I just keep trying to figure that out… and also just trying to do justice to who he was and what his relationships were to everybody else in the program.”
You’ll be able to see for yourself whether Adams fill these space shoes or not when the show drops next month.
The Right Stuff premieres Friday, October 9 on Disney+