– Taraji P. Henson plays a human computer and NASA whiz in the upcoming 20th Century Fox film “Hidden Figures.”
Based on the upcoming book by Margot Lee Shetterly of the same name, the film focuses on the untold true story of NASA scientists and mathematicians Katherine Johnson (Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe, in her debut role) who helped launch astronaut John Glenn into orbit.
“Hidden Figures” will depict the lives of some of the black women ? and black scientists, period ? who were so integral in NASA’s early 1960s success, but whose stories were silenced for so long.
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– NEW ORLEANS — Janelle Monae says she’s honoured to be part of an upcoming film that tells the little known-story of three black women who were crucial part of NASA’s history, including one who helped John Glenn become the first American to orbit earth.
The Grammy-nominated singer is making her big screen debut in “Hidden Figures,” which tells the story of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson — three women who worked at NASA in the 1960s.
“It is so important, that we as women, African-American women, tell our stories,” Monae said. “These three women opened doors for us and literally helped change the world.”
“Hidden Figures,” stars Taraji P. Henson as Johnson; Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer as Vaughan and Monae as Jackson. The women were mathematicians and Johnson helped calculate the trajectory for Glenn’s orbit around earth, among other accomplishments. The cast also includes Aldis Hodge, Kevin Costner and Kirsten Dunst. Segments of the film were shown to fans Friday at the Essence Festival, the annual four-day music festival geared toward black women.
Monae and Hodge, who plays Noah on WGN America’s hit series “Underground,” spoke afterward.
Monae said she cried when she received the script.
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THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer are starring in the film about the women who helped NASA’s first successful space missions.
On the day his new show Underground premieres, Aldis Hodge has lined up another role. He’ll join Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer in the based-on-a-true story film Hidden Figures.
Theodore Melfi is directing the film that centers on a team of African-American women who helped NASA with the mathematical data needed to launch its first successful space missions. Janelle Monae plays the third woman in the trio of mathematicians who help out the space program. Kevin Costner is also attached to the film, which is being produced by Chernin Entertainment and Donna Gigliotti.
Allison Schroeder wrote the screenplay based on Margot Lee Shetterly’s book, which will hit shelves in September via HarperCollins’ William Morrow.
Fox 2000 has slated Hidden Figures for release on Jan. 13, 2017