Michelle Obama is giving 20th Century Fox’s new film Hidden Figures two thumbs up.
As part of the “Hidden Figures in Space Exploration” summit, Thursday afternoon the movie’s director Ted Melfi, producer Mimi Valdes, and stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, and Kevin Costner joined First Lady Michelle Obama for a private screening at the White House.
After watching the biopic about three black female engineers and mathematicians who worked at NASA in the early days of the space race, Obama delivered remarks and praised the project as “remarkable” and “important” for highlighting the integral role woman of color played in helping America become the first country to put a man on the moon.
(Photos courtesy of Samantha Williams & Shane’a Thomas)
“We sought out the very best minds in math and engineering at the time, people with diverse perspectives who could think in ways that no one had ever thought before — people like many of you in this room, the people like Katherine Johnson, and Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan,” she said, naming the NASA employees Hidden Figures was based on.
“These women couldn’t even drink from the same water fountain or use the same bathroom as many of their colleagues … and folks didn’t always take these women seriously because they were black, and also because they were women,” she said.
The first First Lady also showed love to the film’s stars, including “our girl Janelle Monáe,” whom she referred to as “my little child here, my other one,” and Costner, who she said “is still as handsome as ever.”
“I said that after my husband left,” she added as the audience broke out in laughter. “He’s not watching.”
Though it has yet to be released, the biopic has already come out strong this award season with several nominations from both the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild.
Hidden Figures is coming to theaters on January 6th, 2017.
Introducing “True Story with Natasha S. Alford" a new original series on theGrio. In our first episode, Natasha looks at the #1 movie in America “Hidden Figures” and asks— who are today’s generation of “hidden figures”? #GrioTrueStory
Posted by TheGrio on Thursday, January 12, 2017