Weir's dreams came true when his self-published novel became a movie smash. In his own words, the author tells us how 2015 changed his life.
We said goodbye to Don Draper and hello to Adele. Doughnuts were licked, and dinos were vanquished. And whether we were getting to know Supergirl or supervillains (looking at you, Robert Durst), 2015 turned our emotions Inside Out. So join us as we revisit the year’s most unforgettable moments — for better or worse. (By the time we’re through, maybe we’ll finally have our invitation to join Taylor’s #squad.) See more Best of 2015 coverage.
The film version of The Martian was a really faithful adaptation of the book, and as an author, you don’t usually get that. The screenwriter, Drew Goddard, involved me pretty heavily while he was working — we were on the phone almost every day. The first moment where I was like, “Oh my God, this is really happening,” is when a producer sent me some photos from the set in Budapest. But the real awesome thing was when they sent me the first trailer. It was all my dreams coming true.
The biggest thrill for me in terms of geeky stuff was when NASA called and invited me out for VIP tours. They brought me into the International Space Station’s Mission Control room and let me remotely control a camera mounted on the outside of the ISS. I also got to hang out with Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson, who liked the movie. I was worried about his reaction even while I was writing the book. I was like, “What if Neil deGrasse Tyson reads it?” He was just happy to see such an attempt at scientific accuracy being made that he was willing to forgive the places where it wasn’t accurate.
I can’t claim any credit for the success of the film: All I did was provide the story. The filmmakers are the ones who did the Oscar-caliber stuff — but I’m grateful that I’m tangentially attached to something that successful.
As told to Isabella Biedenharn.
To continue reading more on EW’s Best and Worst of 2015, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on newsstands now, or buy it here.