Janelle Monáe calls the highly anticipated movie “Hidden Figures,” “the light that we call so desperately need.”

The film chronicles the true story of three African American women whose work at NASA helped propel the United States to the head of the space race in the 1960s.

“Hidden Figures” is one of Monáe’s first big-screen debuts. She stars alongside Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, who plays Dorothy Vaughan, and Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson, who plays Katherine G. Johnson.

Monáe said as soon as she read the script, she knew she had to be a part of the project.

“I dropped everything I was doing and I said, ‘I have to help celebrate these women who have gone uncelebrated for far too long,'” Monáe told Hot Topics’ Jessica Sooknanan.

Monáe plays Mary Jackson, NASA’s first African American female engineer.

“In the 1960s, it was hard to be black. It’s compounded when you’re female and black,” agreed 10-time Grammy winner Pharrell Williams. Williams is one of the film’s producers and composed the soundtrack. “There were just too many things for us to not be involved.”

Monáe said she hopes to impact kids who see the move.

“I think that a lot of young girls will have new superheroes,” said Monáe.

“Hidden Figures” is playing in select theaters now. It opens nationwide Jan. 6.


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