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‘A Wrinkle In Time’: An Interview with Storm Reid and Ava DuVernay

Featured Image courtesy of Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

A Wrinkle In Time is now in theaters in the United Kingdom, as of yesterday. I attended a screening for the movie last week on Monday, and I’m honestly still in awe of how beautiful it was. In addition to attending a screening of the movie — thanks to VAMP and Disney — I had the opportunity to sit down with the director, Ava DuVernay, and lead actress, Storm Reid, to talk about the movie.

Before watching A Wrinkle In Time, I wasn’t sure of what to expect; watching the trailers gave me a vague idea, but what can one really learn about a movie in a two-minute trailer? I had the basic knowledge that it was an adaptation of the 1962 children’s novel A Wrinkle In Time by the late Madeline L’Engle. Ava DuVernay, the director, was the first black female to ever direct a movie with a budget of over $100 million; the production team and cast of the movie were very talented, as well as diverse.

Official movie poster

A Wrinkle In Time follows Meg Murray, played by Storm Reid, on an unexpected journey, alongside her little brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) and their friend Calvin (Levi Miller), through alternate dimensions on a mission to find their father (Chris Pine) — with the help of three mysterious astral travelers, known as Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey).

Through this unexpected journey to find her father, Meg learns that her own insecurities and differences are what make her special and that there is nothing wrong with being different. Being different in society is good, as well as necessary.

A Wrinkle In Time was an amazing movie, in my honest opinion, and I believe that there is a lot to take away and learn from the movie, despite not every moviegoer being in the target audience of 7 to 14-year-olds. After the movie was released in the U.S., there was a lot of harsh criticism on the movie. From the harsh pieces of criticisms I saw online, it seems as though these critics expected A Wrinkle In Time to be some mind-blowing, sci-fi movie like that of Interstellar. One thing I can tell you for sure is that it’s not.

People seem to forget that A Wrinkle In Time is a movie aimed at children 7 to 14. The movie didn’t live up to some people’s expectations, but that doesn’t mean one should disregard the messages and lessons that we can all learn from this movie.

DuVernay talks about this, explaining, “Well, it’s a kids book. It’s for the kids. So I think, perhaps, people weren’t expecting it to be aimed at kids — 7 to 14. But the people who got it, got it, and the people who didn’t, didn’t, and that’s what life is. We know so many people, and we’ve been hearing from thousands and thousands of people across our country — just like you, who saw it and really [can] see the beauty in it.”

She continues: “We know that kids and families have been giving it an ‘A’ cinema score, as they leave the theatre, so that’s who we made it for. We made something that we loved, and we know that we’ve put beauty into this world.” Duvernay referenced Reid, adding, “We got to hang out together for six months and have a good time.”

A Wrinkle In Time was Reid’s first ever lead role in a movie, and at 14-years-old, she did a phenomenal job of portraying the character of Meg Murray.

Meg Murray wasn’t actually an African-American girl in the book, but a young Caucasian girl with freckles and wild, crazy hair. DuVernay felt that it was important that a little African-American girl was at the forefront of this movie. Despite being her first lead role, Reid was able to embody everything that the character Meg was.

Reid mentions how being the lead role in this movie was a big challenge for herself. She says, “When I got the role, I was super duper excited. I was so grateful, and it was a huge opportunity and blessing, but then, I was like ‘Oh my gosh — how am I going to pull this off?’ I didn’t know how I was going to be the lead. I don’t like saying that, but [to be] the lead in the movie, and then also have Miss Ava and Miss Oprah looking at me. But no — I got over that fear quickly, and they all welcomed me with warm arms.”

Credit: IGN

There are two times in the movie when Meg’s friend Calvin compliments her naturally curly hair. The audience is able to see that Meg’s natural hair is something she isn’t too confident about; it takes Meg a moment to accept what Calvin has just said to her, as well as to feel OK with it.

I think it was important to see this interaction acted out by Meg and Calvin in the movie. It’s one thing to have an insecurity about something, but being complimented on that thing that you’re insecure about makes you truly think deeply about that insecurity.

Seeing Reid’s character having insecurities with her natural hair, I was curious to know if this was something that Reid personally struggled with.

Reid explains that it is not something she has personally struggled with. “I’ve always loved my curly hair — my mom always did my hair cute, and I always loved it,” she says. “But I do know that there are a lot of young girls and a lot of girls with curly hair, who do struggle with their hair, because it’s either unmanageable, or it’s wild, or they just feel as though society doesn’t think it’s pretty, and they should straighten it or do something else with it.”

She goes on, “It was amazing to be able to step in Meg’s shoes and kind of see how she experiences that and how it felt at the beginning of the movie ’til the middle of the movie, when Calvin says the exact same thing, and she’s embracing it, and she loves it. So I think it’s just about embracing and loving yourself and your hair to become comfortable with other people giving you compliments.”

I absolutely loved this movie, and it will have a special place in my heart. It was absolutely breathtaking. The cinematography, visuals, soundtrack, production and cast were all exceptional. One quote that remains with me from the movie was a quote by Rumi:

“The wound is the place where light enters you.”

After leaving the screening, it was a quote that resonated with me a lot. DuVernay mentions during the interview what the quote really means for A Wrinkle In Time. She explains:

“It’s the idea that your faults and the things that you are unhappy with or the things that have hurt you are actually opening an opportunity to be better and bigger and braver than you thought that you can be.”

“So I think that it’s such a beautiful quote. We were so pleased to be able to include it in the film, cause it’s really what the film is about. The film is for young people — to tell them that they should dare to be themselves; in this world, dare to be yourself, because the world is daring you to fold, to buckle, to be like everyone else. So to be courageous, standing in your own skin is something that’s not easy for a lot of people — the majority of people are asked to be something different.”

“The world has different standards of beauty, intelligence, privilege, but in this film, we try to inhabit it with all kinds of people to say the light in you is enough.”

A Wrinkle In Time is such a beautiful movie that will and already has touched the hearts of millions of people around the world, including mine. A Wrinkle In Time is now out in theaters in the United Kingdom, as of today, as well as worldwide.

My conversation with Storm Reid and Ava DuVernay will be posted on my YouTube channel this weekend, so make sure to subscribe and be on the lookout for the interview.

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Written by Zoë Selesi

Zoë is an eighteen-year-old based in London. All social media is @zozoestbelle.
"You gave me the best of me. So you'll give you the best of you" - Magic Shop, BTS, LY: Tear