This time, though, it’s a name everyone knows: John Glenn, the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth in 1962. Throughout the movie he goes out of his way to be kind to the pool of black mathematicians, and while it’s ridiculously charming (thanks in no small part to Glenn Powell’s performance), it definitely had me walking out of my screening wondering if the real John Glenn was really that woke in real life.
As it turns out, he was! Just ask NASA’s chief historian Bill Barry, who worked director with the creators of Hidden Figures — and who walked out of his screening impressed with the incredible level of true-to-life detail that the movie captured. I sat down with him at a press junket in New York City, along with astronaut Stephanie Wilson and NASA engineer Dr. Sheila Nash-Stevenson, and he told us all a great story about a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it-moment in the movie that speaks to John Glenn’s real life status as a full-on social justice warrior.
Also who could forget how great John Glenn was on Frasier.