Watch Pharrell Williams’ LIVE Q&A with the cast of ‘Hidden Figures‘.
Thanks to 21st Century Fox and AMC Theatres, those residing in 14 U.S. cities will have the opportunity on Feb. 18 to watch the three-time Oscar-nominated movie about the African American women who were behind NASA’s space program during its early years.
Gratis screenings for Hidden Figures will take place at 10AM on that Saturday at AMC venues in Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; The Bronx, NY; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Detroit, MI; Los Angeles, CA; New Orleans, LA; Philadelphia, PA; Oakland, CA; St. Louis, MO; Miami, FL; and Washington, DC. Tickets will be distributed on a first come, first served basis and can be reserved at AMC’s website.
While the biographical drama starring Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monáe, and Octavia Spencer didn’t take any honors from the recent Golden Globe ceremony, Hidden Figures took the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance By A Cast In A Motion Picture. Teary-eyed and astounded, the three lead actresses took the stage to receive their award on behalf of the cast.
Taraji P. Henson took the microphone and gave an empowered speech about how it was an honor for her to share the story of the women who helped put the first men into space. “This story is about unity, this story is about what happens when we put our differences aside,” Henson says. “And we come together as a human race, we win. Love wins. Every time. Thank you so much for appreciating the work we’ve done. Thank you so much for appreciating these women, they are hidden figures no more!” Watch below.
— Variety (@Variety) January 30, 2017
Virginia Beach native Pharrell Williams earned his second career Academy Award nomination Tuesday morning when “Hidden Figures,” a movie he helped produce, was selected as one of nine best picture Oscar nominees. Williams took to Twitter shortly after noon with this tweet via @Pharrell: “Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Screenplay, and Best Picture! Thank you to the Academy for three #HiddenFigures nominations!”
Williams was nominated along with fellow “Hidden Figures” producers Peter Chernin, Donna Gigliotti, Theodore Melfi and Jenno Topping. Octavia Spencer, a previous Oscar winner, received a nomination Tuesday for best supporting actress. Allison Schroeder and Melfi were nominated for best adapted screenplay. The 89th Academy Awards ceremony takes place Feb. 26. Williams was nominated three years ago in the category of best original song, for “Happy,” from “Despicable Me 2.”
Despite his one nomination this year, The New York Times and People magazine websites listed Williams among the Oscar snubs on the music side. “Mr. Williams didn’t just help produce ‘Hidden Figures,’ he also wrote songs and music for it,” NYTimes.com said. “The academy, however, didn’t give him the love this year, opting instead for ‘The Empty Chair’ from ‘Jim: The James Foley Story,’ by Sting and J. Ralph.
“The musician and producer was nominated for a Golden Globe for best original score for ‘Hidden Figures,'” People.com said. “However, his work was overlooked in the Oscars’ Original Score and Best Original Song categories.” “Hidden Figures” tells the story of real-life mathematicians who worked at NASA in the 1960s and stars Taraji P. Henson, Spencer and Janelle Monáe. The movie is set in Hampton but was filmed in Atlanta.
“Hidden Figures” is currently certified fresh on RottenTomatoes.com, with a 92 percent favorable rating from critics and 94 percent from audiences. So far, the movie has grossed more than $100 million in U.S. theaters, according to the-numbers.com. It finished third in the box office last weekend, behind only the premieres of “Split” and “XXX: Return Of Xander Cage.”
Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams and Theodore Melfi, Producers
Best Supporting Actress
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Sunday estimates had showed the two films tying for No. 1, but ‘Hidden Figures‘ ended up winning the race. Empowered women and outer space dominated the North American box office over the weekend as Pharrell Williams and Theodore Melfi’s biographical drama Hidden Figures orbited past Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to win the race with $22.8 million from 2,471 theaters as it expanded nationwide, versus $22.1 million for Rogue One in its fourth weekend from 4,157 locations.
Sunday morning estimates had showed the two films all but tying for the No. 1 spot with roughly $22 million each, but Hidden Figures did more business than expected throughout the day. (Most rival studios showed Hidden Figures narrowly beating Rogue One all along. The stand-alone Star Wars story is hardly a slouch, though, having stayed atop the chart for three consecutive weekends.) Also, check out a glipse of the Orchestrated Version of Pharrell’s ‘Runnin’ below. Make sure to cop the OST & The Score On iTunes.
Pharrell Williams – Runnin’ (Orchestra Version) (17′)
Photo by Mark Seliger. For Pharrell Williams, the most rewarding part about being a producer and co-composer on Hidden Figures isn’t that the film beat Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to top last week’s box office, it’s that the story about three African-American women who helped NASA launch John Glenn into space in the 1960s is finally being told. “A lot of people walk away [from the film] saying, ‘I can’t believe I didn’t know that story. That should be part of textbook history.’ To us, that’s the special sauce right there,” he says.
By “us,” Williams means himself and Mimi Valdes, who serves as chief creative office of his production company i am OTHER and who brought the 20th Century Fox project to Williams’ attention. For the Virginia native, that the story took place close to where he grew up, involved the space program — a secret passion of his — and shed light on these three progressive women made it all systems go. Plus, as his mom reminded him after he had signed on to produce, Williams met one of the protagonists, Katherine Johnson (played by Taraji P. Henson), years earlier at an event for his education initiative. “I was like, ‘Wow, it was serendipitous,’” he says.
For “Hidden Figures,” the largely unknown story of African-American women working at NASA during the early 1960s, it was already a given that multi-Grammy-winning Pharrell Williams – a producer on the film – would contribute songs. Williams then called Hans Zimmer, with whom he had worked on several films dating back to “Despicable Me.” “I knew that he would have the right playbook,” Williams says. Zimmer in turn recruited English composer Benjamin Wallfisch, who had contributed additional music to Zimmer’s “Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice.”
“An Englishman, a German and an American walk into a bar,” quips Zimmer. “What do they do? They start talking about music.” Williams’ songs came first, says Zimmer. “The score draws from the songs all the time.” Prior to the film, Williams happened to be working on songs that, for no particular reason, seemed to have a 1960s vibe. “When we got the call about this project, all of a sudden it was, now I understand why I’m doing all this early ’60s music.”
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