Monday, June 17, 2024

Taraji Henson and Octavia Spencer Play Superheroes in ‘Hidden Figures’ (EUR Exclusive)

 Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), flanked by fellow mathematicians Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) meet the man they helped send into orbit, John Glenn (Glen Powell), in HIDDEN FIGURES. (Hopper Stone Photo)
Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) and  Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer)  meet  John Glenn (Glen Powell), in HIDDEN FIGURES. (Hopper Stone Photo)

*While ignorant white racists plotted to keep blacks down—and prove blacks are an inferior race—three black genius American women were putting John Glenn up in space and returning him. When you think of a race of people that has suffered and endured brutal demeaning discrimination yet soars, it indicates superior qualities.

Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer), and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) are brilliant mathematicians and called “computers” in “Hidden Figures.” Yet, they and approximately 30 other computers are relegated to the basement at NASA. Johnson is asked to join the space team in NASA’s main building to help compete with the Russians who had already put a man in space, but she could not use the “whites only” restroom or drink from the office coffee pot.

Henson, who calls Johnson “the queen,” exclaimed, ‘Wow! I’m in the presence of a real life super hero,’” I guess the biggest thing that I took away from her was her humility. When you talk about super heroes, they’re selfless. They don’t think about themselves. They put humans or humanity before them. She was so humble. She would always say, ‘If we.’ Well, No, Katherine it was you. It was your mind alone that got Glenn to orbit the earth. He didn’t say, ‘Go get so and so, and so and so.’ He said, ‘Go get that smart girl.’ So it was you.”

READ RELATED STORY: MICHELLE OBAMA ON ‘HIDDEN FIGURES’: AMERICA SUFFERS ‘IF EVERYONE AT THE TABLE LOOKS THE SAME’ (SEE PICS FROM WHITE HOUSE SCREENING)

Octavia Spencer and Taraji Henson at the Mandarin Hotel in NYC. (MMoore Photo)
Octavia Spencer and Taraji Henson laugh it up at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in NYC. (MMoore Photo)

“For me, the research part was integral,” Spencer weighed in, “because if this is the first time that these women are being introduced to the world, I did not want to portray her in as any stereotype. I wanted to make sure that her integrity was preserved. there are enough negative images of black women out there.”

Directed by Theodore Melfi, “Hidden Figures” opens Christmas Day and also stars Mahershala Ali, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, and Jim Parsons.

Syndicated Entertainment journalist Marie Moore reports on film and TV from her New York City base. Contact her at [email protected]

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