The London Hotel in West Hollywood was host to a celebration for Hidden Figures and Janelle Monae’s performance in the film. Hidden Figures stars Monae as Mary Jackson, Taraji P. Henson as Katherine Jackson, Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughn as the three NASA scientists responsible for helping win the space race against the USSR. Set in the 50’s and 60’s, the film shows what these pioneering women had to overcome to make their mark on the world.
Jackson earns the trust and respect of Al Jackson, played superbly by Kevin Costner, working round the clock, demonstrating her mathematical abilities to the team, and astronaut John Glenn. Spencer’s Vaughn is determined her team works and educates themselves before IBM computers arrive. Monae’s Jackson is a fiery soul who stands out as she dreams of becoming an engineer, and fought segregation to become the first black, female engineer at NASA. Hidden Figures, even on third viewing remains a completely uplifting film, and is fitting for today’s world. These women were not going to be stopped, and the cast give stellar performances. At its heart is friendship, but the film makes you want to cheer and applaud their victories.
The screening was hosted by George Lucas and his wife, Mellody Hobson, and included a Q&A with Monae, and a reception. Director, producer and co-screenwriter Theodore Melfi joined producer-composer Pharrell Williams, co-screenwriter Allison Schroeder and executive producers Mimi Valdes and Ivana Lombardi for the event. Fox executives were also on hand, including 20th Century Fox chairman and CEO Stacey Snider, Fox 2000 president Elizabeth Gabler and Fox 2000 vp of production Marisa Paiva.
Monáe has received a Critics Choice Award nomination and SAG ensemble nomination for her performance in the film.