The real-life figures they portray in the film "Hidden Figures" may have been cast in the shadows, but actresses Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe are basking in the spotlight as their 60's period drama was screened at the White House Thursday following an invitation from First Lady Michelle Obama.
During a panel discussion following the screening Obama noted that the black mathematicians the actresses play in the film couldn't use the same water fountains or bathrooms as their colleagues. But she said their example shows that "you don't come up with the right answer if everyone at the table looks the same and thinks the same and has the same experience."
Joining the actresses was co-star Kevin Costner and director Theodore Melfi.
The film is also garnering solid reviews and getting solid attention now that awards season has come around. Spencer, already an Oscar winner for her role in 2011's "The Help," received a Golden Globe nomination earlier this week for her portrayal of Dorothy Vaughan, the first African American woman to be promoted as head of personnel at NACA, the predecessor agency to NASA.
The Golden Globes air Jan. 8 at 8 p.m. EST on NBC