Powerhouse of a woman Janelle Monáe will soon be debuting her acting chops to the world and we cannot wait.
The singer, performer and CoverGirl model is starring in the upcoming Hidden Figures, the amazing true story of three brilliant African-American women at NASA who helped bring astronaut John Glenn into orbit on the 1962 Friendship 7 mission. Monáe is part of a star-studden cast, which includes Tarji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Kevin Costner.
The trailer debuted at the Essence Fest, where Monáe told People that she previously studied acting, but was waiting for the right role to come along. When she heard the story of Mary Jackson and her untold efforts in helping America win the Space Race, she knew she had to be involved.
“I studied acting all throughout high school then I studied it after high school as well. It was just a matter of time and it needed to be the right role and I just felt like this is the right role,” Monáe said. “I instantly connected with her story as a young black woman who wants justice when there is injustice and discrimination.”
Octavia Spencer told Essence that when she first read the script, she thought it was an incredible work of fiction, and had no idea that it was a true story. “I thought, ‘Wow, this is a great story that needs to be told because we haven’t seen black women from that era portrayed in that way.’”
In preparation for the role, Monáe studied with a mathematician and learned about astronomy and space orbiting to fully embody her character. She also said that working with such esteemed actors also helped her rise to the occasion, and that she found a particular affinity with Costner.
“Kevin Costner, I learned so much from him just watching him. Everybody I worked with, it just felt like family and it was the right thing to do. It’s supposed to be happening. I’m supposed to be here.”
We couldn’t agree more, Janelle.