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Taraji P Henson on portraying the real-life superhero Katherine Johnson

What can audiences look forward to in Hidden Figures?
People will be surprised, because when you talk about math and science, it doesn’t sound exciting. The film is a period piece, but it’s timely, and it’s a hero film. And they don’t have capes and cat suits on.

Will this film inspire young women?
I’m proud to be on a project that shows the power of women. Women not being afraid to uplift each other. Women can save the world. Until we start lifting our women up, we’re doomed.

The film has some strong female characters.
What I love is that the film represents a sisterhood. We need that now more than ever. We were living in a time that was hard for women and certainly, African American women. the message is, we’re stronger in numbers, stronger when we’re together. And I look at the young girls growing up and we have social media which is like a curse and a blessing. You see these fights and the competition and it’s like, woah, can we get back to the basics?

Is there any scene you found very interesting?
There are many beautiful scenes, but the one that sticks out for me was of her (Katherine) running to the bathroom. Would I be able to
do that now, like wear it on my soul? I don’t understand that level of oppression. But for this woman, everyday, that was her journey — to run a mile to the bathroom. But she loved her job, she put a smile on her face everyday, and went to work.

Hidden Figures is in the running for Best Picture, Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Octavia Spencer, and Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay). Watch the Oscars on February 27 on Star Movies and Star Movies Select HD at 5.30 am live, followed by a repeat at 8.30 pm.

— Team Indulge

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