Rachel Robinson reflects on role in making ’42’

LOS ANGELES — “42,” the movie inspired by the great Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball, was the No. 1 grossing movie in the country over the weekend — raking in more than $27 million.

A huge reason for the success is Robinson’s widow, Rachel. 

“I helped them make it,” she said at Dodger Stadium prior to the Dodgers hosting the Padres on Jackie Robinson Day on Monday night. “It’s very authentic.

“It was important to me because I wanted it to be an authentic piece. I wanted to get it right. I didn’t want them to make him an angry black man or some stereotype, so it was important for me to be in there . . . I love the movie. I’m pleased with it. It’s authentic and it’s also very powerful.”

Although she worked closely with Chadwick Boseman, who portrayed Jackie in the film,  Harrison Ford, who played the role of former Dodgers owner Branch Rickey, also found Robinson’s widow to be extremely helpful.

“She was a wonderful source of inspiration to us as well as (giving us) intimate insight into her relationship to her husband,” Ford said.

Rachel Robinson says she enjoyed the film and when it comes to the younger generation, there is one characteristic about her late husband that she wants them to take away from the film. 

“It was his commitment,” she said. “He was committed to change. He was committed to Rickey and he was committed to himself and I think the commitment is the important part of it.”

The life and legacy of Jackie Robinson was celebrated throughout Major League Baseball on Monday with each ballplayer wearing uniform No. 42.

Rachel Robinson was at Dodger Stadium for the festivities honoring her late husband where Ford threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

On Apr. 15, 1997, the No. 42 was retired by all of Major League Baseball in honor of Jackie Robinson.