Taraji P. Henson and Ryan Reynolds Explain What They Went Through to Make Hidden Figures and Deadpool

Images: Deadpool, Fox; Hidden Figures, Fox
Images: Deadpool, Fox; Hidden Figures, Fox

Ryan Reynolds is still living the high of not only getting his dream project made and released, but also having it be a giant success. Taraji P. Henson’s Empire character is as recognizable as Deadpool, but her real passion was getting to star in Hidden Figures as Katherine Johnson, a math genius working, unrecognized, at NASA.


In Variety’s “Actors on Actors” series, Reynolds and Henson talked to each other about their careers, social media, and how badly they wanted to do these two projects. Henson says when she got the Hidden Figures script, “I read it and I remember thinking to myself, ‘How come I haven’t heard of these women?’ So I made it my mission to do the film. I didn’t care how much they were paying.”

Reynolds recounts the well-known story of his 11-year journey to Deadpool, telling Henson, “I represented the death of the superhero for a while. After Green Lantern, I was pretty much unhirable. Deadpool was one of those things that was just so specific—it was like this weird superhero anarchy that I loved so much.”

You can watch the whole interview below, but the best part is right at the beginning where Henson talks about the extra challenge of playing someone who is still alive, and how much making a movie Johnson would like means to her. Which is followed by Henson and Reynolds bonding over being bad at math.

Katharine is the Associate Director of Policy and Activism at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the former managing editor of io9. She writes about technology policy and pop culture.


F'mal DeHyde

I’m probably the only person in the world that didn’t like Deadpool but I definitely want to see Hidden Figures. I kind of suspect part of the reason Deadpool did so well is because his face was covered most of the time and we couldn’t see his annoying mugging.