Glen Powell Admits He Vomited After First Viewing of ‘Hidden Figures’: Here’s Why

Glen Powell, the talented actor known for his portrayal of astronaut John Glenn in the critically acclaimed film ‘Hidden Figures’, has candidly shared his initial trepidation upon watching the rough cut of the movie. In a recent appearance on the Therapuss with Jake Shane podcast, Powell revealed the moment of self-doubt that gripped him as he watched the unfinished footage, fearing that his performance might have inadvertently detracted from the film’s overall impact.

‘Hidden Figures’, a biographical drama directed by Theodore Melfi and based on Margot Lee Shetterly’s non-fiction book of the same name, shines a light on the remarkable contributions of three African-American mathematicians – Katherine Goble Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson – who played pivotal roles at NASA during the Space Race. Powell’s portrayal of the real-life astronaut John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962, placed him at the heart of this inspiring story.

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Glen Powell Hidden Figures
Image Courtesy: Pinkvilla

As Powell explained, the process of watching a rough cut of a film can be an unsettling experience for actors, akin to witnessing the raw, unedited footage of their own performances. It’s a moment of vulnerability, where self-criticism and doubt can readily creep in, leading to a heightened sense of insecurity about one’s contribution to the project.

Powell candidly recounted the moment when he first viewed the incomplete version of ‘Hidden Figures’ on the Fox lot, devoid of the final touches such as visual effects, music, and sound design. The experience proved overwhelming, as he found himself consumed by self-doubt, questioning the authenticity and quality of his performance, fearing that his portrayal might have compromised the integrity of the film.

The weight of his concerns was so profound that it manifested physically, with Powell recounting how he felt compelled to step away from the screening and seek solace in the nearby bushes, where the intensity of his emotions culminated in a momentary about of nausea. It was a raw and candid admission of the psychological toll that self-doubt can take, even on seasoned performers.

However, Powell’s candid revelation serves as a powerful reminder of the profound dedication and vulnerability that actors bring to their craft. By laying bare his initial apprehensions, he offers a glimpse into the human experience behind the silver screen, highlighting the depth of commitment and emotional investment that propels the creation of exceptional cinematic works such as ‘Hidden Figures’.

-Sushmita Sarkar