Chris Matthews Goes Hardball with Hollywood

By A.J. Katz 

Hardball took a brief break from politics, and went Hollywood last night.

The cast of Hidden Figures, which includes A-listers Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, and Pharrell Williams, stopped by the table to promote their new film and chat with Chris Matthews. Only Costner had appeared on Hardball prior to last night.

Based on a true story, the film is set in 1960s Jim Crow, and tells the story of 3 talented African American women who are accomplished mathematicians working at NASA during the space race. Despite the long odds, which include being segregated from their white colleagues, the women eventually help launch the first American into orbit.

“What’s so inspiring about this film and these women is that they did not allow those obstacles to deter them, and stop them from their dream,” said Monáe. “Yes, we were dealing with racism, with sexism, with class ism, but the great thing about when NASA and all the men and women put all those ‘isms’ to bed, that’s when they achieved the extraordinary together. At the end of the day, we all bleed the same color.”

Pharrell is a cable news junkie in his own right, and showed love for Matthews towards the conclusion of the interview.

“We’ve been watching you for years….And your interviews and the way that you keep people straight is amazing,” said Williams. “And when people veer off and they don’t answer the question, there’s no one that slices through it better than you.”

I can imagine that made his day.

Hidden Figures is out in select theaters on Christmas Day, with a wider release following on January 6. Here’s a look at their chat: