It was movie day at the White House on Tuesday as First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a series of events featuring the cast and crew of Warner Bros.' “42,” a movie about Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in major league baseball.
During the day director/screenwriter Brian Helgeland and actors including Harrison Ford, who plays Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey, and Chadwick Boseman, who played Robinson, appeared at a White House forum.
The forum featured 80 high school and college students in an interactive workshop that was aired by the White House on the web.
They were joined by Robinson’s widow, Rachel Robinson and questioned by Paulette Aniskoff, the director of the White House’s Office of Public Engagement.
President Obama will joins the cast and crew in a showing of the movie in the White House on Tuesday evening.
Some of the students were from the Washington, D.C. area, but others were from the Animo Jackie Robinson Charter High School in Los Angeles or participated in the Jackie Robinson Scholars program. The students asked the cast and Rachel Robinson about the long-term impact of Jackie Robinson’s accomplishment.
Boseman in answer to one question spoke admiringly of Jackie Robinson.
“He didn’t just do it on the field. He had clutch moments in his everyday life,” he said, noting that the Robinson’s crossing the color barrier made his actions both on and off the field subject to intense scrutiny.
The First Lady, introducing the cast, said she and the President watched the movie for the first time over the weekend.
“We think that everybody in this country needs to watch this movie. And I can say with all sincerity that it was truly powerful for us,” she said. “I don’t know about you, but we walked away from that just visibly, physically moved by the experience of the movie, of the story.”