We absolutely loved Hidden Figures. Theodore Melfi’s film tells a distinctly important story of three African-American women, each essential to the NASA Space Program in the 1960s and beyond, whose importance has long be overlooked. James Kleinmann sat down with actresses Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe to talk about their experience working on the film, and bringing these real life stories to light.
Octavia Spencer’s discovery of the story played a crucial part in her taking on the role, she explained,
“I hadn’t heard this story of the contributions that ANY women made to the space program in America. So, when I realised it was true I wanted to be a part of telling this story for the masses. It’s something that should be consumed in large amounts.”
Henson readily agreed,
“It’s an important piece of history that was left out. I felt blessed and honoured to be chosen to tell this story…These stories touch and change lives.”
“When you talk about playing someone who is still alive, a real person with a legacy, there’s a responsibility to get it right. I had to meet her…and the feeling I got was that I was sitting across from a hero, a national treasure. This is someone who understands humanity on a higher level or who lived in a consciousness that we will never fathom.”
Singer/songwriter Janelle Monáe was very clear on her intention going into the film, and the message it sends to the public,
“For me, it’s always been about celebrating the oftentimes UNcelebrated – the other, that person who is marginalised because of their race, or their sexual orientation or gender. I think these women were true American heroes…I didn’t want any young girl to go through life and not know about these heroic women who achieved the extraordinary.”
We have interviews with Kevin Costner, Pharrell Williams and director Theodore Melfi coming up on the site shortly – do check back for those.
Hidden Figures is out in UK cinemas on the 17th of February. Please do see it – you’ll love it.