After leaving us all hanging off a balcony anticipating the next season of Empire, Taraji P. Henson has already landed a new role drastically different from her Golden Globe winning performances as Cookie Lyon. Henson is starring in a new movie titled Hidden Figures alongside Janelle Monae and Octavia Spencer. Henson plays Katherine Johnson, a mathematician, who calculated rocket trajectories for the infamous Apollo trips to the moon.

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The film is a true story that recalls a time in history where three African American mathematician women were the brains behind NASA’s major milestones and success in the 1960s. Hidden Figures is based on a nonfiction book of the same name written by Margot Lee Shetterly, to be released in September.

According to the New York Times, the author grew up knowing Ms. [Katherine] Johnson in Hampton, Va., but only recently learned about her contributions to rocket science and the American space race after her dad, a retired research scientist, casually mentioned Ms. Johnson’s life work. Her next thought was, “Why haven’t we heard about it before?”


Pharrell Williams didn’t pass up the chance to vouch for this movie’s necessity in society today, especially being that he grew up very close to Hampton, VA himself. Pharrell was so impressed with the idea that he became a producer for the film among others who include Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and Mr. Melfi.

Regarding the movie’s racial diversity, Taraji shared: “I hate when I do a film, and it has a lot of African-Americans and they call it a Black film. I don’t wake up and go, ‘Let’s see, this weekend, I’m going to see a Chinese film, I’m going see a Black film, no I’m going see a white film with a Black person in it.’ Who does that?”

Be on the lookout for this film’s release on January 13, 2017.