42 is the upcoming biopic about the life of Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to play Major League Baseball. It stars Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson, Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey, an MLB executive. Yesterday afternoon, the First Lady, Michelle Obama, hosted an interactive panel discussion with the members of the cast and crew as well as Rachel Robinson, Jackie Robinson’s widow. MovieViral was very fortunate to have been invited to this event. Check out pictures and video after the jump!
The panel discussed the making of the film as well as the life of Jackie Robinson and the lasting impact he has had on the sport of Baseball and civil rights in the United States. Director and writer, Brian Helgeland talked about the writing process and working with Mrs. Robinson to get the story as accurate as possible. Chadwick Boseman, who portrays Jackie Robinson in the film discussed the impact the role has had on his life as well as Robinson’s legacy.
Harrison Ford answered questions about whether he used personal life experiences in his role. And the lovely Rachel Robinson told many stories of her time with Jackie, sharing how they met, a bit about Jackie’s personality and his morals.
While we planned to do a livestream of the event, we ran into some technical difficulties. Below you can watch the official recording of the White House livestream.
The Obamas have been very supportive of the film and television industry over the last few years. The First Lady surprised viewers at this year’s Academy Awards, presenting the award for Best Picture. The First Family hosted a pre-Oscars screening of Beasts of the Southern Wild with a post-screening Q & A. And in 2010, the Steven Spielberg-and-Tom Hanks-produced HBO miniseries, The Pacific, was screened.
In 2011, Variety wrote about the marketing (and politics) behind these screenings at the 40-seat Family Theater in the White House. In the article, author Ted Johnson said:
“To get a movie screened there, especially one that is turned into an event, not only is an ego boost to filmmakers but can bring extra attention to a project and perhaps give it a boost at the box office.”
Many thanks to the Press Office of the First Lady for the invitation to this wonderful event!
42 opens in theaters on April 12th!