Taraji P. Henson To Play NASA Scientist Katherine Johnson In 'Hidden Figures'

Playing tough, bold women is what Taraji P. Henson does best, in fact she just won a Golden Globe for playing one on Empire every week.  Now she's set to play another one in a new biopic from St. Vincent director, Ted Melfi.

Henson will play space scientist, math genius, and physicist Katherine Johnson in Hidden Figures, which Melfi will direct based on Margot Lee Shetterly's book, "Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race". Johnson, along with colleagues Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson, played an invaluable role in NASA's 1962 launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, the first time that had ever been achieved. Overcoming racial and gender prejudice, the three women broke all barriers in an effort to complete the mission.

Johnson, who is now 97 years old, was award the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama, and it would be great if the film could arrive in time for her to see it. [Variety]