Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae are the true epitome of Black Girl Magic in their new film Hidden Figures … and they know it.
HipHollywood sat down with them for the film’s junket, where they dished on the power and fortitude of Black women, and playing real-life NASA mathematicians Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson.
“I felt the [magic] when I read the script,” said Henson, who played Katherine Johnson. “You just hope that the powers that be get it and can get it out to the masses. Here is a situation where all the pieces of the puzzle came together … it was one of those perfect storms.”
Based on real-life events, the film follows the women as they work behind the scenes at NASA to help launch astronaut John Glenn into outer space.
“What I loved is that these women also had a broad world view and they didn’t let race or gender stop them from working at NASA and collaborating with the white men,” added Monae who plays the fiery Mary Jackson. “If they didn’t have that mindset we would not have gotten our first Americans into space.”
Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer said the film is still quite timely as it deals with gender disparity and race relations, but believe it will help spark a change. “What we hope is that when people see this movie that they feel empowered [to know] that they do have agency and that there is power in community and numbers,” explained Spencer, who was nominated for a Golden Globe award for her role.
“This does a different thing, and it does a thing that only movies can do,” added Costner. “It can inform us in a way and it can give us pause and make us look at our history, and we can still be entertained, but at the end go, ‘We should have been doing this a long time ago.’ It’s going to reinforce people’s ideas that this is the way they need to be.”
Hidden Figures is in theaters December 25.
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