Culture and politics are joined at the hip, and CNBC star Chris Matthews of Hardball talking to the cast of Hidden Figures last night is a must-see.
The film illuminates the rich and diverse history of NASA, telling the poignant story of three whip-smart African American women working at the agency in the 1960s.
No one saw them coming, but their work and their accomplishments added to America’s greatness in the space race.
The overall message of the film is one to keep in our hearts during this contentious time in politics and when there’s so much heartbreak and suffering in the world.
Matthews interviewed stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, and Kevin Costner, along with producer Pharrell Williams, who also features on the soundtrack, and Director Ted Melfi.
They spoke with Matthews about the obstacles of the times which provide the focus for the film —sexism and racism.
Speaking about the overall message, Taraji told him: “When we put our differences aside as humans, that’s when we’re able to move the human race forward, because at the end of the day, we’re all humans. A mind doesn’t have a color, you know.”
Recently departed space pioneer John Glenn is shown in the film, along with his admirable reception that he gave these women — not succumbing to racist tropes or demeaning sexist behavior. He stood up for their work, and never marginalized it because of their skin color or gender.
The cast discussed their experiences filming the movie and why this remarkable story is important to each of them.
During the interview, Williams also lauded Matthews for his reporting.
He said: “I was just going to say, you’re not Mr. Straight Arrow. We’ve been watching you for years. And your interviews and the way that you keep people straight is amazing. And when people veer off and they don’t answer the question, there’s no one that slices through it better than you.”