"[Hidden Figures] interested me because it's three African-American female protagonists, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, space, NASA, which I've been obsessed with since I was a kid, and the idea that this happened in my hometown of Hampton Roads, Virginia, in the 1960s was like, 'OK, we have to do this,' " Pharrell Williams told The Hollywood Reporter during the Songwriter Oscar Roundtable. Williams is credited as a producer and composer on the 20th Century Fox film.
"The one good thing in it is it has raised gender bias," said Williams. "We can no longer deny that women are treated the way that they are. When you think about all of these travesties that have happened, I mean, it's not girls going in and shooting up elementary schools. It's not girls blowing up federal buildings. What would the world be like if it was mostly ran by women? I don't think there's nothing wrong with us having a shot at seeing what that looks and feels like."
More roundtables featuring actors and actresses, screenwriters, documentarians, directors, composers and producers will continue throughout February in print and online. Tune in to new episodes of Close Up With 'The Hollywood Reporter' starting Jan. 15 on Sundance TV, and look for clips at THR.com/topic/roundtables with full episodes on THR.com after broadcast.