This week, the Oscar nominated film ‘Hidden Figures’ is released in Irish cinemas. Starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae, the film is the story of three African American women in the 1960s, who were mathematicians at NASA, and played a vital role in the US Space Program.
To celebrate the release of ‘Hidden Figures’ in Irish cinemas, Movies.ie has gathered together 10 facts about the film that you really ought to know.
1. True Story
‘Hidden Figures’ is based on the real experiences of mathematicians Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan. The story is inspirational, but the real life Johnson, on hearing about the film, expressed surprise that anyone would want to make a film about her life.
‘Hidden Figures’ is directed by Theodore Melfi, whose debut film ‘St Vincent’ starred Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy. ‘Hidden Figures’ is only Melfi’s second feature length film, for which he has been Oscar nominated twice; Best Film and Best Adapted Screenplay. Impressive!
3. Page to Screen
‘Hidden Figures’ is based on Margot Lee Shetterly’s book of the same name. Unlike the film, however, Shetterly’s book is non-fiction, not a novel.
Although ‘Hidden Figures’ is set in Virginia, most of the filming took place in Georgia. Locations included the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics at Dobbins Air Reserve Base.
The set where Dorothy Vaughn’s house was filmed is actually an historic house in Atlanta where US civil rights legends Ralph Abernathy and Martin Luther King Jr. met.
Interestingly, Katherine’s co-workers in the film drink Chock Full o’Nuts coffee. In 1957, Chock Full o’Nuts was the first major New York corporation to hire a black executive as a corporate vice-president. That man was retired baseball legend Jackie Robinson, who had also been the first person to break the racial barrier in professional baseball.
Mark Armstrong, son of Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, was invited to have a cameo role in the film. Armstrong appears in a crowd scene of NASA engineers.
Pharrell Williams acted as producer on ‘Hidden Figures’ and also oversaw all musical elements, and the soundtrack.
Many of the cast of ‘Hidden Figures’ have worked together before; Mahershala Ali and Janelle Monae both star in ‘Moonlight’, Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer worked together on ‘Black or While’ in 2014, and Octavia Spencer appeared in an episode of ‘The Big Bang Theory’, which famously stars Jim Parsons.
10. When can I see ‘Hidden Figures’?
‘Hidden Figures’ is released in Irish cinemas on February 17th 2017. Watch the trailer below…