In speaking to the students, she touched on the film's theme of overcoming adversity.
"Before he became an actor, Harrison Ford had to overcome a crippling fear of speaking in front of an audience. So he’s terrified right now," she joked.
The workshop was the latest in a series of events between the first lady and Hollywood. She announced the winner of the Best Picture category at the Academy Awards earlier this year. And the casts of several Oscar-nominated films — "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and "Lincoln" — visited the White House in the months leading up to the ceremony.
In her remarks, Obama also praised Rachel Robinson as "a woman of strength, of courage, conviction; a woman who paved the way for me."
She pointed out of the Robinson's marriage: "Rachel Robinson was in every way his equal, ladies — in every way his equal."
The first lady also got personal in her remarks. In encouraging the students to think of their futures, she noted: "I still don't know what I’m going to do with my life."
The film "42," which opens nation-wide on April 12, takes a look at the life of Robinson and his signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers, which broke baseball's color barrier.
Ford and the cast are scheduled to attend a private screening of the film at the White House on Tuesday night, but Obama revealed she and the president have already seen the flick and it left them moved.
"We walked away from that just visibly, physically moved by the experience of the movie, of the story," she said.
Photo: Actors Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford at the White House on Tuesday.