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Jackson died in 2005 at age 83. What I did find that was parallel in our lives was math, which I hated.”, It’s ironic Henson is playing a math whiz, as she told THR she was never good at math. A statistician and theorist, Stafford has no interest in giving up his white male privileges. The scene in the movie unfolded in almost exactly the same way it does in real life, with … In 1953, she was hired by NASA and struggled to receive equal recognition for her work. Hidden Figures, the inspiring new film about the African-American women who made it possible for NASA to send a man to space, is getting great … All rights reserved. (Inside Science) -- Math plays a starring role in the movie "Hidden Figures," which is nominated for three Oscars, including Best Picture, at this weekend's Academy Awards. Set during a time of racial and gender inequality, the film tells the untold story of the three females' achievements, which restored the nation's confidence during the 1960s. Does this movie paint an accurate picture of racism in the Southern United States under Jim Crow? "These [women] are our true American heroes," she told CNN. Jim Parsons, best known for the TV series The Big Bang Theory, plays the role. Still alive at age 98, Johnson lives in Virginia, where the movie takes place. Grammy-nominated singer Janelle Monáe, who portrayed Jackson in the film, said she was proud to be a part of a story so many people didn't know about. Hidden Figures is based in the 60s when women and coloured people were given the `treatment’ in America. He really wants to and he supports the film.’”, Glen Powell, mostly known for his role on Scream Queens, plays the role of Glenn. You have a gender equality issue playing out with the way women are being treated. | California Privacy Rights Many important figures in the space program have also chimed in to comment on the accuracy of the film. That the quote from the move is real is especially fascinating in the way that it is both progressive and also not. "I tried to play up the honesty of his legacy just off the fact that he was a very kind-natured soul, as a family man," he said in an AOL web series interview. It … Revealing the inspirational untold story of female African-American mathematicians working at NASA during the 1960s, the film Hidden Figures is based on a book by Margot Lee Shetterly. And Fox 2000 and Chernin are developing Hidden Figures, a movie about the African-American women who helped NASA launch its first space missions (Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer recently were cast). HIDDEN FIGURES the movie, scheduled for general release on January 13, 2017, has assembled an all-star cast to bring the story of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson-- three African American women working as mathematicians at NASA-- to life. © 2021 The Hollywood Reporter, LLC. It's one of the many moments from the film that accurately represents that challenges, both explicit and more subtle, that Johnson, Vaughan, and Jackson faced because they were black women. But Hidden Figures's main purpose is to inform, honor, and celebrate, which the film does with great dignity and grace. The True Story of “Hidden Figures,” the Forgotten Women Who Helped Win the Space Race A new book and movie document the accomplishments of … “I was blown away by the story, and that’s why I wanted to be a part of the film.”. But a warning, it’s not real history. I am not a member of that club!”. Hidden Figures, the inspiring new film about the African-American women who made it possible for NASA to send a man to space, is getting great reviews and lots of deserved attention for the way it finally shines a spotlight on some of the many heroes from history that, because of America's ingrained racism and sexism, have not received due credit and recognition for their work. T he new movie Hidden Figures, which opens in wide release on Friday, tells the story of the real African-American women whose mathematical prowess helped launch the … “My favorite part of it is, it is really layered,” Parsons said, according to Rotten Tomatoes. We can feel proud that we achieved something so extraordinary.". "It was well done. So we tracked down a manual for that spacecraft and sent them copies. The story sheds light on the significant contributions of the three women—Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson—but also the broader impact that women had behind the scenes at NASA. The character is a strict supervisor who challenges Dorothy Vaughn throughout the movie. One of the entry scenes in elementary school features a quartic equation (x 2 + 6x - 7) (2x 2 - 5 x - 3) = 0 Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson (1918 - ) (played by Lidya Jewett as a kid) factors the polynomial. (In real life, Jackson’s mentor’s name was Kazimierz “Kaz” Czarnecki, according to NASA) The character and real-life counterpart both display underemployed talent and undertake a long-term mentorship. Married in 1959, the two still live together in Virginia. [Hollywood’s Casting Blitz: It’s All About Diversity in the Wake of #OscarsSoWhite, by Rebecca Ford, Hollywood Reporter, March 2, 2016] That the spacecraft bears the name of Johnson, who also inspired the 2016 film "Hidden Figures," is an "honor," said Adi Boulos, the lead NASA flight director for the mission. In one already iconic scene from the film, Glenn is concerned about the launch. The three leading ladies did an excellent job portraying us," she said, according to The Los Angeles Times. These women were indeed real, amazing people, but how accurate is Hidden Figures? "He supported his wife — supported her in a very avant-garde way given the time frame. Sitemap | The husband of Mary Jackson, Levi Jackson is played by Aldis Hodge. A mathematician, Dorothy Vaughan was the first African-American woman to be promoted as a head of personnel at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, later known as NASA. "Hidden Figures," a movie about three African-American women pioneers at NASA, was slated for worldwide release Friday. According to upi.com, the director of the film, Ted Melfi said, "So, his family kept saying: 'He can't right now, he can't right now. Spencer said the cast wanted to present these women “in a truthful way” and “in the best light possible.” Since Vaughan died in 2008, the first audience she wanted to impress was the family, and she was proud to learn she did. Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, who plays Vaughan, told THR she knew math and science prior to the role but not to the level of a rocket scientist. But I kept filming. "I was extremely ill," Costner told THR. Hidden Figures is based off of the nonfiction book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, written by historian Margot Lee Shetterly. That might seem like a classic movie-magic scene that fictionalized a loosely true event, but in an NPR interview Shetterly, quoting directly from transcripts, confirms that the scene actually happened almost exactly like that in real life. You have a civil rights issue playing out with the way African-Americans are being treated. 2. It's hard to top that assessment from by far the most important critic for this movie, its incredible subject. | EU Privacy Preferences. Based on a true story, Hidden Figures follows the events of the U.S. and Russian race to put the first man in orbit. The story of the women … The breakout movie Hidden Figures tells the story of three African American women who worked as mathematicians at NASA. 1. Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race. The painting seen here on the "Hidden Figures" set actually hung on the walls of NACA and NASA. Image Source: The new movie Hidden figures features some mathematics. Hidden Figures (2016) Soundtracks. They even asked about little details in the spacecraft, he said: "'What was the purpose of an O5G switch and where would it be on the panel?' During the shoot, Costner got kidney stones. John Glenn had an essence that defined America.". What does this have to do with linear algebra? Katherine Johnson at NASA 1966. “And I owe her the truth and all of me,” Henson told The Hollywood Reporter. | Do Not Sell My Personal Information "He saw a future for America that a lot of people didn't see. Fortunately for all, the filmmakers had an incredible amount of primary and secondary source material from which to get all the details right. Hidden Figures is up for three Oscars — best picture, best supporting actress for Spencer and best adapted screenplay for Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi — in addition to earning other accolades including best ensemble at the SAG Awards. The film focuses several real-life people in addition to including some fictional characters to help drive the storytelling. AdChoices NASA To add to the accuracy of the film, NASA consulted on … Levi Jackson was a civil rights activist who struggled with his wife's efforts in pursuing a career as an engineer and balancing her home life. (Inside Science) -- The Oscar-nominated movie "Hidden Figures" brought significant attention to the accomplishments of Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan -- three African-American women who worked for NASA during the space race. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In preparation for the 2017 release of 20th Century Fox's new motion-length film Hidden Figures, here are five awesome facts I learned from my interview with the author of the best-selling novel, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, Margot Lee Shetterly. THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER is a registered trademark of The Hollywood Reporter, LLC. Taraji P. Henson, who portrays Johnson, said she felt pressure playing someone who is still alive and wanted to make sure she got it right. Based on the nonfiction book by Margot Lee Shetterly, HIDDEN FIGURES is the true story of three African-American women who worked for NASA in the 1950s and '60s. The First 2021 Bustle Digital Group. He died of a stroke on Dec. 8, 2016, at age 95. He received the NASA Distinguished Service Medal and the Congressional Space Medal of Honor and was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. "Hidden Figures" continued to rule the box office for the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, after pulling in higher numbers than the latest "Star Wars" installment for its debut. Her background includes such projects as Project Mercury (the first man to fly into space), 1969's Apollo 11 (first flight to the Moon) and the Space Shuttle program (plans for a mission to Mars). He's not sure if everything is right, so he demands that the numbers get checked by the only person he can trust: "get the girl to check the numbers," he says, referring to Johnson, who was a lead research mathematician. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: ). Critics of the film complain that in Hidden Figures, it’s silly to show Katherine Johnson racing the clock to complete some calculations so that John Glenn’s historic flight can take place. ", Vivian Mitchell, played by Kirsten Dunst, is a fictional character representing the views and attitudes of some white women in the '60s. They didn't get to run the large transonic wind tunnels during the day. She was the head of the West Area Computers, leading a group of African-American mathematicians through crucial space projects. Sticks and Stones Written by Titus Turner Performed by Ray Charles Crave Written and Performed by Pharrell Williams Pharrell Williams performs courtesy of i am OTHER Entertainment/Columbia Records . Al Harrison is a composite character created for the film. Few people read nonfiction books, so seeing Hidden Figures is the minimum. “Space exploration was a very important human event. Privacy Policy | Explore your favourite “based on a true story” films scene-by-scene, beat-by-beat and test their veracity on a data level.. Obviously watch out – **MEGA SPOILERS** “I got to sit with her and started studying her mannerisms, and I asked her a lot of questions. Shetterly's book is fantastically well-researched, walking readers through the social and political world in which Johnson, Vaughan, and Jackson lived, and telling a detailed narrative of their lives and the work they accomplished. One of the bigger nitpicks in this movie – and 2012’s Argo – is that it’s historically inaccurate. "They wanted to know what a NASA parking lot looked like in 1961 — what kind of cars, that kind of thing — so we tracked down a photo and sent it to them," he said. ", And Johnson herself, now 98 years old, reportedly approves of the story told about her life in Hidden Figures. "Hidden Figures," which debuted in select U.S. theaters on Sunday (Dec. 25) and opens wide Jan. 6, tells the "untold story" of Dorothy Vaughan (Spencer), Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. … "Not calculus, pre-calc! All rights reserved. At the time of her work, African-Americans and women were not respected in the workplace. This is the '60s, so I loved what he represented and what they represented. The women's mathematical, physics, and engineering work was integral to the success of America's space program, and particularly to the launch of Friendship 7, the space shuttle that brought John Glenn into orbit and officially made an American orbit the Earth for the first time, in 1962. "He was a true American hero," he told Parade after Glenn died. The movie follows the story of three women involved in the race to propel humankind into space… Hodge prepared for his role by reading Margot Lee Shetterly's book, also titled Hidden Figures, from which the movie was adatped. Yes. “I understood her work to an extent, but she's a rocket scientist and there are very few people in the world who get that type of physics and can work interchangeably in the math disciplines,” Spencer said. Behind the scenes of one of the greatest operations in U.S. history, a group of African-American women (played by Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae) teamed up to solve mathematical equations for NASA. Hidden Figures the book gives some of that history, but I would also recommend reading Reconstruction by Eric Foner and The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson to expand the view back to end of the civil war. "Hidden Figures" cannot be historically accurate Posted on 1/12/17 at 6:24 am 28 16 I mean, factually speaking there is no way that a group of 8 or so African American women in 1950s and 1960's America would have the education and experience necessary to provide critical information to the top scientists in the world working at NASA. This Oscar-nominated feel-good ensemble drama is already the highest-grossing film fronted by African-American actresses, with an international haul of US$155million (Dh569 million) to date. The Hidden Figures quotes below all refer to the symbol of “COLORED” Signs. In an interview with the Daily Press, Bill Barry, the resident historian at NASA Langley Research Center, said that he was asked literally hundreds of questions by the cast and crew about the scientific history they were telling on screen, and admitted to being amazed at how accurate the filmmakers were. When he flew, Glenn was 40, much older than portrayed. Soundtrack Credits . The film stars Taraji P. Henson as Katherine Johnson, the African-American mathematician who calculated flight trajectories for Project Mercury and the 1969 Apollo 11 flight to the Moon. “I didn’t even know computers were people before they were computers,” she said. Karl Zielinski, a NASA mission specialist, was Mary Jackson's mentor in the movie. Hidden Figures is a 2016 biographical comedy-drama film directed by Theodore Melfi and written by Melfi and Allison Schroeder, based on the nonfiction book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly. Paul Stafford is a fictional character representing a number of white engineers at NASA for whom Katherine Johnson worked. Hodge prepared for his role by reading Margot Lee Shetterly's book, also titled Hidden Figures, from which the movie was adatped. John Glenn, an astronaut and engineer, was the first American to orbit the Earth and fifth person into space. Fact-checking the Hidden Figures movie confirmed that John Glenn personally requested that Katherine recheck the electronic computer's calculations for his February 1962 flight aboard the Mercury-Atlas 6 capsule Friendship 7—the NASA mission that concluded with him becoming the first American to orbit the Earth. There are a lot of things Hidden Figures got factually right and wrong. A physicist and mathematician, Katherine G. Johnson worked with NASA in calculating trajectories, launch windows and the return paths for many famous space flights. More so in places like Virginia where this film is … The film, based on a true story, follows three brilliant women "computers" at NASA in the '60s: Katherine Johnson, played by Taraji P. Henson, Dorothy Vaughan, played by Octavia Spencer, and Mary Jackson, played by Janelle Monae. “What I learned from playing Dorothy Vaughan is that I have a voice and that I have to use it for people who don't have a voice or whose voice is somehow subdued by whatever's happening in society,” she told THR. In Hidden Figures, he plays Col. Jim (James) Johnson, a captain and lieutenant in the United States Army. Mahershala Ali has had a big year, with roles in two Golden Globe-nominated films (the other is Moonlight, for which he won a SAG Award). "I was on morphine and Vicodin. Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race [Shetterly, Margot Lee] on Amazon.com. "It's because of them that we can have that as America. She saw the movie and enjoyed it. Johnson, Vaughan, and Jackson all began their careers at the Glenn was unable to see the film due to his health but his family members were supportive. Hidden Figures is engaging, entertaining and enlightening – but by playing fast and loose with historical fact, it risks blunting some of the story’s eye-opening emotional force.. She told the Daily Press, after a screening of the movie, that from her perspective "It sounded good...It sounded very, very accurate.". Dunst admitted she was unaware of the story in an interview posted on Rotten Tomatoes. Another possibility is that the “Hidden Figures” are the mathematical figures that had to be uncovered in calculating trajectories and orbits for the astronauts. It’s this triangle of three major things, three major things that are still with us today as a society.”. He's said he tried his best to give his character an accurate portrayal. Glenn knows enough to respect and trust Johnson's opinion and intellect above everyone else's, but he still refers to her somewhat in a somewhat dehumanizing way, as "the girl." During her time at NASA, she worked under segregated conditions as a "computer.". What are the historical inaccuracies in the movie "Hidden Figures"? “It's a small group of people, and my hat is off to them. Hidden Figures had a limited release on December 25, 2016, by 20th Century Fox, before going wide in the United States on January 6, 2017. During the time the movie was based on, Jim Johnson is Katherine Johnson's love interest and later on becomes her husband. Mary Jackson was a mathematician and NASA's first black female engineer in 1958. Editor's note: After we published this story on Dec. 21, 2016 Hidden Figures was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Below, read more about the cast, who they played and how the actors prepared for their role. Terms of Use | Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race She influenced the hiring and promoting of women in science, engineering and mathematics careers at NASA. “I failed pre-calc," Henson said. So I was just trying to give some truth to that and made sure I did him some justice.". Read More Editor's Note: A previous version of this article mistakenly said that John Glenn was the first man to orbit the Earth, when in actuality, he was simply the first American man to do so. The class that preps you for all the math you have to do.”. 3.

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