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A Wrinkle in Time Cast Stays in the Light

March 05, 2018

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By: Lynn Barker

Members of the A Wrinkle in Time cast told press that they all were honored to bring classic characters to life. The original novel by Madeleine L'Engle and the film introduce tween Meg Murry and her young bro Charles Wallace who have been without their scientist father, Mr. Murry, for five years since he discovered a new planet and “wrinkled time” to travel there. They are joined by Meg's classmate Calvin O'Keefe and guided by the three astral travelers Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which to time travel to a planet where rests all the evil in the universe, rescue dad and survive.

Reese, Mindy and Oprah as Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. WhichReese, Mindy and Oprah as Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. WhichCourtesy of Disney

The film is meant to inspire young people and everyone who is young at heart to find a little light in dark times. A lot of us will relate. The A Wrinkle in Time cast is as stellar as its spacy setting with Oprah Winfrey as Mrs. Which, Reese Witherspoon as Mrs. Whatsit, Mindy Kaling as Mrs. Who and Chris Pine of Star Trek fame as dad Dr. Alex Murry. A semi-newbie to film Storm Reid plays lead character Meg and Gugu Mbatha-Raw is her beautiful and smart scientist mom Dr. Kate Murry. Rowan Blanchard from “Girl Meets World” and “The Goldbergs” on TV portrays new character Meg’s bully/friend Veronica. 

Check out cast comments. Chris says he loved working with Storm because her “B.S. meter is so sharp”. Oprah loved the fancy clothes and “flying” on wires and Rowan loved exploring what makes a bully tick.  

Q: Storm, this movie may launch you into stardom. Are you excited?

  • Storm Reid: I’m really excited. I haven’t been nervous this entire time and I’m usually always nervous. I feel like this is our baby that we created and we love it so much and it’s so great, but we’re giving it to people for them to either like it or love it or not like it at all. So that’s a little bit nerve-wracking but I feel like we did a good job and I’m really proud of us so I’m really happy and it’s a blessing.

Storm Reid as Meg MurryStorm Reid as Meg MurryCourtesy of Disney

 Q: Oprah, your role as Mrs. Which seems tailored just for you. Do you feel like that and were you drawn to visit New Zealand for the shoot?

  • Oprah Winfrey: Yes, I did. When I heard that (Director) Ava (DuVernay) was shooting in New Zealand, I said ‘I’m going. I’m going. ‘I’m just gonna go hang out with you for however long it takes, I’m gonna block it on my schedule. I’m gonna watch you shoot and say action’. She said, ‘Well if you’re serious about that, why not take a look at the script? I’ve been wanting to ask you to do this, but I didn’t want to pressure you because of our friendship’. I go, ‘Okay, I’ll do it’. I didn’t even know what (part) it was. Then I thought, okay, let me read the book, see what this is. It never got to my neighborhood.

Oprah Winfrey as Mrs. WhichOprah Winfrey as Mrs. WhichCourtesy of Disney

Q: Was playing the part everything you expected?

  • Oprah: I was called for the fitting for the costumes with (costume designer) Paco Delgado and realized, whoa. This is some kind of movie. And the first day on the wires, I went, ‘This is really some kind of movie’. So, when you look up the word “delight,” there’s my picture.

Q: Gugu, you play Dr. Kate Murry, an inspiring role model for Meg. How do you see your character?

  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw: I’d never played a mother or a scientist before and we got to meet this wonderful astrophysicist who was kind of the consultant on the movie.  We visited the Jet Propulsion Lab which was really fun. I was really drawn to the fact that even though Dr. Kate and (husband) Alex Murry are obviously a love match, they’re also intellectual equals and it’s like a meeting of minds. That pioneering spirit that they have is really what sort of keeps her hope alive when he’s been gone for so long.

Gugu Mbatha Raw as Meg's mom KateGugu Mbatha Raw as Meg's mom KateCourtesy of Disney

Q: Chris how was playing your scientist/dad character? In your opinion, what is he like?

  • Chris Pine: I had so much fun with this guy, Dr. Alexander. He is so cool. His brain is hungry and searching and explorative. And obviously that ambition to do great things propels him forward to do some wonderful things scientifically. Unfortunately that shadow side of him, ambition, disconnects him from what is most important in his life and it requires his daughter to reintroduce him to the spirit and the beauty and regenerative quality of being next to human beings; touching and feeling and holding and kissing. All those things that make us human.

Chris Pine as Dr. Alex Murry Chris Pine as Dr. Alex Murry Courtesy of Disney

Q: Reese, you are feisty in this movie as Mrs. Whatsit. Tell us about your experience with the film.

  • Reese Witherspoon: My agent called me and said, ‘Ava DuVernay wants you to be in a movie’. It’s very flattering to be chosen to be part of Ava’s movies because she doesn’t just make a movie, she makes an experience for everyone. She cares about what happens in front of and behind the camera. Everybody feels like they are important and valued for their contributions. And I feel like this was a masterclass in how to be a very thoughtful filmmaker. She’s a real visionary. I got to be this amazing celestial person, who hangs out with Oprah and Mindy(Kaling) all day.

Reese Witherspoon as Mrs. WhatsitReese Witherspoon as Mrs. WhatsitCourtesy of Disney

Q: What did you talk about when the cameras weren’t rolling?

  • Reese: We got to talk about what would we impart to a young woman today, right now? And discuss that with Ava and with Storm, and it was extraordinary. Really, a beautiful experience.

Mindy, Reese, Oprah and Storm at Disney ExpoMindy, Reese, Oprah and Storm at Disney ExpoCourtesy of Disney

Q: Okay Mindy, your turn. How are you feeling about being part of the film as Mrs. Who?

  • Mindy Kaling: It’s absolutely incredible. Ava saw something in me and we actually met at a party for Malala (Pakistani activist for female education). We were the only three women of color at this big party. And after I finished talking to Malala, Ava and I had a great conversation and I feel so blessed to be part of the film and to wake up every morning and spend four hours in the makeup trailer with these two (women, Oprah and Reese) was great.

Mindy Kaling as Mrs. WhoMindy Kaling as Mrs. WhoCourtesy of Disney

Q: Rowan, you are a bully in the film and you were subject to bullying in “Girl Meets World”. Can you talk about that?

  • Rowan Blanchard: Sure. From watching movies growing up I always looked at bullies as very one-dimensional characters, especially girl bullies. It’s very stereotypical that girls catfight or that girls fight over stupid things and that girls hate each other. And so I was interested in approaching Veronica and Meg’s relationship in a way where I was able to recognize what it means to be the bully. It’s so much more deep and layered than just a bully and a victim. I think, especially between young women, there’s so much competition that’s bred outside of their relationships interpersonally. I was interested in exploring that.

Rowan Blanchard as VeronicaRowan Blanchard as VeronicaCourtesy of Disney

Q: Storm, what about Meg’s relationship with her father; kind of a daddy’s girl thing? How did you get into that?

  • Storm: Well, my dad hasn’t been missing for four years, so I didn’t really know how to translate that at first, but I really had to step in Meg’s shoes with all the situations she’s going through. Thankfully, I’m not getting bullied and I’m not going through the things that Meg is going through. Me and my dad are very close and thinking about him being missing for four years really helped me (get into that). Then working with (Chris) and seeing how focused and how intense, he is, I felt the connection and I felt the pain and the love. Mr. Chris was really helpful as well.

Ava DuVernay directs Storm ReidAva DuVernay directs Storm ReidCourtesy of Disney

Q: And Chris?

  • Chris: ‘Mr. Chris’. Cutest thing in the world. Working with young adults is a wonderful opportunity for an actor because their BS meter is so sharp. As an (adult) actor, you build a bunch of tricks that, if you get lazy, you can sort of throw them in. But if you work with a kid, they just keep you right there, you got to be right there. So that was lovely working with Storm because she’s such an authentic human, such an authentic actress.

Q: And Meg has such an important influence on her dad.

  • Chris: The beautiful thing about this piece is that, a man that has become so rigid and structured and needy of getting the validation of his community is so hard that he forgets the most beautiful thing on the planet, this beautiful, supple, blooming flower of a gorgeous daughter that he has. He forgets that that’s the prize. Property or money, none of that stuff matters.  So that moment when they meet, that’s like, the man finding his young inner child and remembering everything that’s beautiful about being a human.

Dr. Murry is so busy he neglects his daughterDr. Murry is so busy he neglects his daughterCourtesy of Disney

Q: So cool. Whoever wants to answer, what was a childhood fantasy that you acted out as an adult?

  • Gugu: I think it’s this life that we get to live as actors, you know, we get to play let’s pretend. For me, certainly acting and performing, dancing, telling stories, was something I did for fun and I got to make my hobby my job. That was always my childhood fantasy, what are we going to play today? Also I was an only child, so I didn’t have any playmates at home. I get my playmates and my siblings from this wonderful job we get to do.
  • Mindy: I loved science fiction and fantasy growing up but it was a genre that largely did not love me back. I never saw any representation of like a dark-skinned Indian woman, Indian girl in anything that I saw. And it’s a really peculiar thing when you grow up loving something that shows you no love back. I broke out in TV and comedy which is so welcoming to me, but to be part of this, a science fiction fantasy movie, I finally feel welcomed with open arms to something that has ignored me completely. I think it’s something that the miniature version of me could watch and be excited by.

Q: Oprah, Mrs. Which says in the movie that we need to restore hope. Do you think it’s possible to be hopeful in times like this?

  • Oprah: Oh yeah, for sure. I think the darkness is there to help bring out the light in all of us. And if you think about it, if we turned all the lights off and one person just held a candle, you would start to dissipate the darkness. You would banish the darkness. And look at how much darkness it would take to actually engulf all the light that every candle would hold. So it just takes a little bit of light. That’s what we’re hoping for and if everybody can get that message, that’s how we have hope in the world. We’re looking for warriors who can bring hope back.

Q: Beautifully said.

A Wrinkle in Time PosterA Wrinkle in Time PosterCourtesy of Disney

See A Wrinkle in Time in theaters Friday, March 9th!

 

Have Your Say

Have you read the famous novel on which the movie is based? Do you think and hope time travel can be possible? What would you do to get back a missing family member? Talk about it below with a comment!