12. Lovell was Neil Armstrong‘s backup for Apollo 11, and then he was put on the schedule for Apollo 14, but he and his crew were bumped up in line.
“I went home and I told my wife, ‘We’re gonna go on 13, not 14,’ and she said, ’13?'” Lovell recalled in an interview with Astronomy magazine. “I said, ‘Well, it comes after 12.’ Then they put that in the movie.”
13. Kathleen Quinlan (who made her movie debut in 1973’s American Graffiti co-starring Ron Howard) was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her turn as Marilyn Lovell, Jim’s high school sweetheart and wife since 1952. And just as the actors immersed themselves in that NASA world to prepare, Quinlan did her research into what it was really like being an astronaut’s wife.
“I met Marilyn, and she was so gracious and helpful,” Quinlan recalled to Smashing Interviews in 2014. “Jim and Marilyn flew me to Houston. Jim actually flew the plane, and Marilyn sat in the back serving coffee. It was really cute.
“I met a lot of the astronauts’ wives, and I realized when I met them and talked with them what a strong, important influence they were on their husbands and where they were in their minds before they took off. They had to be really ready, and it had a lot to do with who was there supporting them. Marilyn was very helpful.”
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