A couple weeks ago I had the honor of attending a press day for the upcoming Disney movie A Wrinkle in Time. Which means YOUR GIRL WAS IN THE SAME ROOM AS OPRAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!
Okay, now that that’s out of my system, it was a true pleasure to be in a room with so much talent and charisma. Oprah is as captivating in person as you would expect, Reese Witherspoon is just as lovely, and Chris Pine is just as hot. And I’m thrilled to see my old comedy pals Zach and Mindy experiencing such well deserved success. 10 years ago I’d never have predicted I’d see Zach and OPRAH sitting on the same sofa.
Oh speaking of where Oprah was sitting, I SAT THERE TOO. I’m hoping some of Oprah’s Oprah-ness rubs off on me.
Today I’m happy to share some more insight into the making of this beautiful movie from the cast and creators themselves.
Interviews with A WRINKLE IN TIME Cast and Creators
In attendance were:
· Oprah Winfrey (“Mrs. Which”)
· Reese Witherspoon (“Mrs. Whatsit”)
· Mindy Kaling (“Mrs. Who”)
· Storm Reid (“Meg Murry”)
· Chris Pine (“Dr. Alex Murry”)
· Gugu Mbatha-Raw (“Dr. Kate Murry”)
· Zach Galifianakis (“The Happy Medium”)
· Rowan Blanchard (“Veronica”)
· Levi Miller (“Calvin”)
· Deric McCabe (“Charles Wallace Murry”)
· Ava DuVernay (Director)
· Jennifer Lee (Screenplay)
It’s obvious the cast and creators are very passionate about this movie and had a lot to say on a lot of different topics.
WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT A WRINKLE IN TIME?
AVA DUVERNAY: This is a film for young people. And people who are young at heart. And for me, I have to ask myself, do I still have a heart, first of all? And is there an inner child still in me? Did I tap into the 11-year-old, the 12-year-old, the 13-year-old in me, and find that light that I used to have, that dreamer? And so I got to do that for two years. I got to really get in touch with all that I thought I would be when I was young and really tap into that and try to create some magic with this great group of people.
JENNIFER LEE: I had daydreamed of Ava directing this and never imagined. She walked in and I said, really? Because her incredible evocative storytelling, emotional storytelling, and what this film needed, because this is a journey across the universe, but at the heart of it is a family story and empowering young girls. And Ava walked in, and she was so gracious and kind to me and embraced me in the process with her and so I’m very grateful. So right away I was smitten.
STORM REID: I’m really excited. I haven’t been nervous this entire time, which is surprising for me because I’m usually always nervous. So I haven’t been nervous. I think I’ll be a little bit nervous tomorrow [at the premiere] because I feel like this is our baby and this is our thing that we created and we love it so much and it’s so great, but we’re giving it to people for them to criticize it, 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.
HOW DID OPRAH GET ON BOARD?
OPRAH WINFREY: Ava and I are talking on the phone and when she went to New Zealand and posted pictures of scouting for New Zealand, I have been in New Zealand the year before, in Auckland and did not get to the South Island. Everybody says, you didn’t get to the South Island, you haven’t really seen New Zealand. So when I heard that she was going to be filming in New Zealand, I said to you, “I’m going. I’m going. I’m just gonna go.” And she goes, “what do you mean, go?” I go, “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 be there, I’m gonna watch you shoot and say action.” Because I can. She said, “well if you’re serious about that, if you’re really serious about that, you’d actually come to New Zealand?” I go, “for sure I’m gonna be there.” And she said “well, 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 it was. I’ll do it. And then I thought, okay, let me read the book, see what this is.
ON WORKING WITH DIRECTOR AVA DUVERNAY
REESE WITHERSPOON: … My agent called me and said, Ava Duvernay wants you to be in a movie — Yes! Great, when do I show up? They were like, oh no, she has to take a meeting. I was like, oh, okay, has to take a meeting. Oh yeah, I’m sorry. And so I sat across from her, I was like, really you want me? And it was really, 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 the camera and she cares about what happens behind the camera. And everybody feels like they are important. Special. Honored. Valued for their contributions. And I feel like this was a masterclass in how to be a very thoughtful filmmaker. And a real visionary. In so many ways. So it was a privilege and an honor, and I got to be this amazing celestial person, who hangs out with Oprah and Mindy all day. The fact that I get to stand next to these extraordinary women who I’ve admired for so long and we get to talk about what would we impart to a young woman today, right now? And discuss that with Ava and discuss that with Storm, and it was extraordinary. Really, a beautiful experience.
OPRAH WINFREY: And the first day on the wires, I went, this is really some kind of movie. What kind of movie is this that [Ava] had, you know, just came up out of the imagination. So it has been, the word “delight,” when you look up the word “delight,” there’s my picture. For being in this film. The whole process has just been one big delight.
MINDY KALING: It’s absolutely incredible. It feels, I can’t believe that I was selected to do this. It’s such an honor to act with all these incredible actors. I mean, I’m a sitcom actress and Ava saw something in me and we actually met at a party. It was for Malala. And Ava, Malala and I were the only three women of color at this big party. And after I finished talking to Malala, Malala was seated to my left and Ava was seated over there and once I finished talking to Malala, I was like, I really want to talk to Ava. And after I finished talking to her, we had a great conversation and I thought, you know what, our genres are so different, we’ll never cross paths, and then this happened. So I feel so blessed to be part of it. And to wake up every morning and spend four hours in the makeup trailer with these two was great.
ZACH GALIFIANAKIS: Ava wanted to have lunch, or dinner, and I said, who’s paying?
MODERATOR: Who paid?
AVA DUVERNAY: I did.
ZACH GALIFIANAKIS: I had seen the documentary that Ava had done and I, that alone was enough. You can kind of see people and their work and you see it in their work and I was kind of, I think you played the game Which One Doesn’t Belong Here? I feel like that sometimes when I get hired but Ava and all the people here were very gracious and I think when you’re a stand-up comic you kind of have sometimes, not a chip on your shoulder, but you don’t feel like, that’s where I come from and to be involved in such a big, big, big movie like this is really, it makes me, I feel real proud.
ON WORKING WITH CHILD ACTORS
CHRIS PINE: Working with young adults is a wonderful opportunity for an actor because their BS meter is so sharp. I remember working with a kid, and the moment I said something he didn’t believe, he just walked off camera. So I think that was a wonderful opportunity for me, as actors you build a bunch of tricks that are very, if you get lazy, you can sort of throw them out. But if you work with a kid, they’re like a metronome. 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. I think too one of the great things about this film that I loved is this idea of re-parenting, is that as kids we’re taught that there’s some sort of hierarchical structure where adults are by virtue of their age smarter than we as children are, where we forget that a lot of dumb kids grow up to be dumb adults.
ZACH GALIFIANAKIS: So true.
MINDY KALING: 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, anybody, in anything that I saw. And it’s a really peculiar thing when you grow up loving something that shows you no love back. It’s such a pure love, because you’re not getting anything from it. And to be part of this movie and to be, I broke out in TV which is so welcoming to me, and comedy which is so welcoming to me, but to be part of this, and to be on a green screen stage in harnesses because you’re doing a science fiction fantasy movie, it’s so fun because I finally feel welcomed with open arms to something that has ignored me completely. And so, that is so profound and I think if that can be something that the miniature version of me could watch and be excited by, I think that’s such a huge thing. So that was exciting.
ON CURRENT EVENTS
AVA DUVERNAY: [Zach] had talked about, what was so poignant to me when you first saw the film was talking about boys seeing the film and because we talk a lot about girls seeing the film but he was the first person who said, you know, this is something for boys too. Boys need to be able to see themselves be vulnerable and themselves be able to follow a girl and just not always have to be macho and, yeah.
ZACH GALIFIANAKIS: Yeah. I think it’s good because it’s nice for young boys, young men even, to see that it is okay to have a sensitive side of you. I think when young boys in this climate, they are seen as sensitive. And they’re made fun of, but that doesn’t mean they’re not, it means they’re stronger to me. And I wish we would just kind of change that. You know, I come from a very masculine upbringing and a lot of people do it. I love the way I was raised, but looking back, we need balance. It’s time for balance. I think that’s what the happy medium is.
CHRIS PINE: … You know there’s this verb now, where everybody, they want to harden schools. Like the NRA’s talking about hardening schools. And I think, what an interesting verb. Harden. You want to make the most beautiful, supple creatures on the planet, children, you want to harden? You want to harden that? I mean, what are you talking about?
OPRAH WINFREY: 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 in this room, and just one person 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 in this room. So just, it just takes a little bit of light. Just a little bit of light. That’s what we’re hoping for. A little bit of light. 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.
I also want to give a shout out to a couple of the movie’s sponsors.
ALEX AND ANI was on hand showing off some of their gorgeous new designs inspired by the movie. The creator of the company is a huge fan of the book and wanted to create some special pieces honoring the beautiful message behind the book and movie.
Elizabeth Arden also created special makeup palettes and looks inspired by the three Mrs. I received a swag bag inspired by Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) which included a purple ombre eyeshadow palette and mascara.
Elizabeth Arden also showcased a special shade of red to support UN WOMEN, a champion for women and girls around the world. Wear red for women!
Thank you to both companies for their generous gifts and their partnership with A Wrinkle in Time!
A Wrinkle in Time is rated PG and opens in theaters Friday March 9, 2018.