Math is a superpower in the latest trailer for Hidden Figures, the drama that tells the true story of three black women who helped NASA send the first man into orbit. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe star as three mathematicians recruited by the government to literally “invent” the math that would enable astronauts to circle the Earth. This was, mind you, the early 1960s, when Jim Crow laws were still in effect. Not only did the women portrayed in the film break down metaphorical barriers in science and space travel, they literally broke down barriers at NASA. In the trailer, Katherine Johnson (Henson) demands to be allowed into meetings with the men in charge, and her boss (Kevin Costner) dramatically removes the sign separating the “colored ladies’ room” from the other offices. “We all get there together, or we don’t get there at all,” he says. Watch the new trailer above.
In an interview with Yahoo Movies, the cast of Hidden Figures and producer Pharrell Williams described their initial shock that they’d never heard of the story of America’s pioneering black female mathematicians. “I don’t think NASA hid it — I think the circumstances of that era hid it,” said Williams.
“As a black woman, I was very upset about it,” said actress-singer Monae, who also costars in this fall’s acclaimed drama Moonlight. “When I read the script, I cried, and I just knew that I had to be a part of making sure this story was told and hidden no more.”
Hidden Figures opens in limited release on Dec. 25 and goes wide on January 6.
Watch our interview with the cast: