Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monae honour John Glenn at Hidden Figures premiere

Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monae have paid tribute to late astronaut John Glenn.

Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monae remembered astronaut John Glenn as a "hero" at the New York premiere of their new space movie Hidden Figures.

The film chronicles the real-life battle three female African-American mathematicians faced to become part of the NASA mission to launch John into space in 1962.

Taraji, Janelle, and Octavia Spencer portray the women at the centre of the story, and the actresses honoured John as they hit the red carpet at the Big Apple screening, which was held just two days after the astronaut's death on Wednesday (08Dec16), at the age of 95.

Taraji, who plays Katherine Johnson in the film, hailed John for breaking down race and gender barriers by opting to have the mathematics geniuses, known as "computers", work on his historic mission to become the first American to orbit the earth.

"When he decided to shake the coloured computers' hands, he told them their lives matter," she told The Associated Press. "And in turn, Katherine told him his life mattered as she made it a point to get those numbers right, so he could come back home and see his family. So that's what it's all about. It's about pushing, putting our differences aside, and getting to a common goal."

Janelle was quick to describe John as a "hero" as well as a great promoter of feminism.

The actress and singer, who stars as Mary Jackson in the film, viewed the astronaut as always being on the "right side" of history.

"During a time when these women, because of their gender and the colour of their skin, were often times treated like second-class citizens, he extended his hand out, and he trusted women, and women of colour, with his life," she shared.

And Jim Parsons, who portrays fellow astronaut Paul Stafford in the film, lamented the timing of John's loss.

"What's so interesting about and sad and touching about him passing away right as this movie is coming out is that we are introducing three other major faces of that exact same movement," he said.

Hidden Figures, based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly, opens in theatres from the end of December (16).

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