Cookie’s on another planet! USA Today reports that Empire star Taraji Penda Henson will play Katherine Johnson in the upcoming film Hidden Figures. In 1938, Katherine Coleman Gable Johnson became the first African American woman to desegregate West Virginia University’s graduate school.
The film focuses on Johnson’s contributions to NASA. According to The Hollywood Reporter the movie tells the story of three African American women, working at NASA, who served as the mathematical geniuses that helped launch John Glenn into orbit in 1962.
|New Movie With Taraji P. Henson, Hidden Figures|
The movie is about Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson. Octavia Spencer plays Vaughan while Janelle Monáe plays Jackson. Henson explains that she was never good at math and the script was overwhelming. The actress nearly failed precalculus back at Oxon Hill High School.
The film takes place in the 1960s. Johnson, Vaughan and Jackson had to overcome widespread racism and gender inequality. One of the film’s most dramatic scenes shows how the ladies had to run to the other side of NASA’s Langley Research Center to use the colored bathrooms.
Jason John is based in Maryland and covers Empire BBK’s News and Entertainment. He was previously a producer for the mobile site, helping to present Empire BBK’s news report to readers. More