Taraji P. Henson appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live Tuesday night, January 4th to promote her new film, Hidden Figures that tells the untold true story of the African American women mathematicians, Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, Dorothy Vaughan, Kathryn Peddrew, Sue Wilder, Eunice Smith and Barbara Holley, who worked at NASA during the Civil Rights era.
The story revolves around these brilliant African-American women who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history, the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and his safe return. Glenn flew the Friendship 7 mission in 1962, and became the first American to orbit the Earth.
“I’m not wired mathematically, that’s how I knew I was an artist,” Taraji quipped to a boisterous laughing audience. “I had to look like I know what I was talking about… I’m an actress!”
During the conversation, Henson also mused about the recent Hidden Figures screening at the White House (hosted by FLOTUS, Michelle Obama), where she was fortunate enough to meet the Obamas. Check out the clip of the conversation above!
Hidden Figures was released with a limited opening on Christmas Day, and drew in $2.6-million so far. It is expected to gross $20 million or more Friday through Sunday in the U.S. and Canada, according to the LA Times which is a major accomplishment for a film with a budget of only $25 million, and will expand to some 2,400 theaters by the end of this week.
Henson is a Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Television Award Winner and two-time Emmy-nominee. In addition to starring in Hidden Figures, she co-stars in the hit television series, Empire. This month Henson will also be featured as a guest-voice star in The Simpsons’ first-ever hour-long episode on January 15th on FOX.