Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time” Press Conference
Some of the team and cast behind “A Wrinkle in Time” recently gathered in Hollywood to discuss what it took to bring such abeloved book to the big screen. The panel included Jennifer Lee (screenplay), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Dr. Kate Murry), Chris Pine (Dr. Alex Murry), Storm Reid (Meg Murry), Ava DuVernay (Director), Oprah Winfrey (Mrs. Which), Reese Witherspoon (Mrs. Whatsit), Mindy Kaling, (Mrs. Who), Zach Galifianakis (The Happy Medium), Deric McCabe (Charles Wallace), Rowan Blanchard (Veronica), and Levi Miller (Calvin)
The screenwriter Jennifer Lee talked about how they approached bringing a book from the 60’s to life in 2018.
JENNIFER LEE: : I think we talked a lot about what makes Wrinkle so amazing and has resonated for decades and decades is because there is a timeless quality to the themes she’s dealing with. But we did look a lot at what are those themes today, what do they mean today? And how do you stay true to that, but re-interpret them in a way that we all say this is our world? This is what we understand. So we just had a lot of conversations about what we were inspired by and then what that meant to us growing up and to children now and to the world now.
Storm Reid who plays “Meg Murry” spoke about her feelings towards the film and releasing it out in the world.
STORM REID: Yes. I’m really excited. I haven’t been nervous this entire time, which is surprising for me because I’m usually always nervous. I think I’ll be a little bit nervous tomorrow 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.
The Director Ava DuVernay talked about kids today and her inspiration for this film.
AVA DUVERNAY: Yeah, they’re living in a chaotic time. We’re living in a chaotic time as adults. But imagine if you’ve only been on the earth for 10 years, and 11 years, and 12 years, the tension that you feel and so to be able to just give a little breather and to say who you are is enough, and this is how you’re gonna make it through by finding something in yourself that guides you. We all have that little voice inside of us, and a lot of times we don’t listen to it.
Reese Witherspoon who plays “Mrs. Whatsit” happily discussed how she became involved in the film and her experience.
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.
Mindy Kaling who plays “Mrs. Who” talked about her excitement to be in this kind of movie.
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. 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 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.
Rowan Blanchard portrays a mean girl in the movie, and was excited by the dimension that her character brought to the screen.
ROWAN BLANCHARD: I was a bully. Yeah. I sort of, when I found out about the project I kind of put it into the universe that I wanted to be a part of it in any capacity and I ended up playing my first mean girl role, which was really exciting, but I guess it was also sort of interesting because I think as teen girls we sort of get very basic and one dimensional representations of ourself on screen, and so it was interesting that this story that was about a bully and this girl, Storm, or Meg, became a story about female friendship I think, and that comes across during the whole film, and sort of what’s hiding behind a bully or behind pain.
Zach Galifianakis who plays the “The Happy Medium” helps show Meg, Charles, and Calvin what the darkness is doing to people.
Zach Galifianakis: 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.
He had a very inspirational message about what this movie meant to him and will mean to a younger male generation.
Zach Galifianakis: 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.