Taraji P. Henson to Play NASA Math Genius in New Film

Hidden Figures is based on the true story of Katherine Johnson, one of several black women who were crucial to the United States’ early spaceflight efforts.

Taraji P. Henson poses with the Golden Globe she won for her role in TV’s Empire on Jan. 10, 2016, in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Taraji P. Henson poses with the Golden Globe she won for her role in TV’s Empire on Jan. 10, 2016, in Beverly Hills, Calif. FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Taraji P. Henson is going from Empire to NASA in her upcoming movie role.

Henson will star in Hidden Figures, a movie based on the book Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race, by Margot Lee Shetterly. 

Henson will play the role of NASA math genius Katherine Johnson, one of three black women—the other two were colleagues Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson—responsible for helping astronaut John Glenn with his space mission during the 1960s.

Henson’s upcoming role is her first big role since winning the Golden Globe Award for best actress in a TV drama series for her work on Empire. There’s no word yet on who will star in the roles of Vaughan and Jackson.

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