The 'Empire' star plays real life NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson in the upcoming movie.

Credit: Hopper Stone
  • Movie

Taraji P. Henson only takes projects that scare her. Empire gave her that feeling and so did Hidden Figures, this winter’s film about real-life NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, who helped launch John Glenn into space. “Katherine Johnson scared the hell out of me,” says Henson “I failed math!”


Now, awards-buzz has been building with the release of Figures‘ first trailer (the film is not yet on the calendar for 2016, set to release wide in January, but a late-year qualifying run has been rumored). But Henson says that’s not what she’s focused on. Says the actress, a previous Oscar nominee for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, “Is Katherine gonna be happy? That’s all I care about. Will she be proud? Will she be proud of the work that I did? All of these women went unnoticed in history and that is crazy to me. That is crazy. Hell no. That makes my blood boil.”

To continue reading more on Taraji P. Henson and Empire, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands Friday, or buy it now – and subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

Hidden Figures hits theaters on Jan. 13, 2017.

Hidden Figures
  • Movie
  • 127 minutes
  • Theodore Melfi