Thank you to Disney Studios for hosting me during the A Wrinkle In Time Event.
I still remember my first press junket like it was yesterday. I sat in on the interviews, wondering how I got there and wondering if my mouth would actually work if I tried to ask a question. I’ve gotten more comfortable in interviews, yet somehow the thought of sitting down with Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling and Oprah Winfrey had me totally nervous in that same way I was on my first junket. But then something wonderful happened. They walked into the room and I was suddenly at ease. Oprah is magic, y’all. I had the chance to thank her for taking the time to talk to us. I was able to tell Mindy how much I loved her show and how excited I was for her new one. It was the best possible way to kick off the A Wrinkle In Time press junket!
How do they hope their roles inspire the next generation of girls?
Reese Witherspoon: A part of what I loved about making the movie that I think is also in the movie and you really feel it is the power when women are together, and talking, and not the only woman in a movie or the only woman in a board room or the only woman who’s a manager at her company. And I think the power of that to young women to say, we’re not against each other. When we get together, we create abundance, and that’s been a driving part of my career. The more I collaborate with women, the more we create for each other. So I think that’s a that’s a concept that we need to put into our little girls’ brains.
Mindy Kaling: I think just that the cast is so inclusive. I’ve never seen anything like that, and I think that as a young woman I would have felt so much joy from watching it. I felt so much happiness from seeing that. And as a dreamer, I think I wouldn’t have to dream quite so hard to picture myself on screen.
Oprah Winfrey: What I do know for sure is that everybody’s goal is, whether they can articulate it as such or not, is to live a life that matters and a life that has meaning. And I think that my hand prints, my heart prints, all over the Oprah show for all those years is a magnificent purpose to have lived. But I also knew when we were doing this film that there would be young girls who would come along and they would see the Mrs. And they would see me and they would say, “What do you mean she had a talk show?” and that the imprint, the heart print that you eventually will leave in this world will come from what is said in this movie. And so for your generation that I helped to raise, there will be generations to come that will be raised on this story. Presented in the way, through Ava’s vision, who will only know me, us through that.
Did they have a favorite line in the film?
Reese Witherspoon: I know what my favorite was. When Storm looks up and she’s talking to her little brother who’s been possessed sort of by darkness and she says I deserve to be loved. I lost it. I just lost it, you all. I was like, we all deserve to be loved, and we all deserve to tell our stories and be the center, the lead of our own movie, the captain of our ship. And we do not see that enough, we don’t see ourselves enough and I think a movie like this with a company like Disney getting behind it says so much to young people.
Mindy Kaling: There are so many quotations in the movie, but one of them really in a quick part is when Storm has fallen down and she’s feeling hurt, she doesn’t want to stand up. And I say “The wound is where the light enters you,” which is so profound and you have said some quotations that are so smart about wounds but I I love that one.
Oprah Winfrey: That’s why that one resonated so deeply with me because I’ve often said that the wounds help you create wisdom for yourself. The wounds is where the light enters, when I heard that it it resonated deeply with me, because I feel that that is really true, that everything that happens to you that wounds you, that is crisis, is the open door for more light to actually come in. My favorite is when Mrs. Which says to Storm, “Do you know how many millions and millions of events had to occur as they did in order for you to be exactly the way you are?” And I actually think that about my own life as a African American who came from slaves and that story, that journey. And I think about it for the life of everyone I meet. Everybody on the planet. I just think of what it took to get you here… When I got to say that to her, I think there was a connection that she and I had that went beyond the characters, like how much had to happen in order for you, Storm, to be here in this moment having this lead role in this movie and us experiencing this together. It was really pretty powerful.
What was their time like together in the makeup trailer?
Oprah Winfrey: These are the talking-est girls you ever saw. Oh my gosh, they talk about everything. What was on TV last night, what you didn’t see on TV. They know everybody. They’re in the cultural buzz. I actually called Gayle and I said, “Oh my God…”
Reese Witherspoon: We’re like, “Are we annoying you?”
Oprah Winfrey: Will you let me finish? I said, “Oh my God, Reese and Mindy talk all the time. You need to get to this trailer, you would love being here, because they know everything about everybody.” I go, “They are walking People Magazines, they know everything that is happening with everybody all the time…”
Mindy Kaling: Part of me was like, “I felt so bad for Oprah.” We get there at five thirty, five o’clock in the morning. You just want to get your work done, she has nine different companies. But Reese is sitting next to me and it’s like, “That’s not going to happen…”
Oprah Winfrey: Not today.
Mindy Kaling: How many people do you know in this world who live in the United States who were personal friends with the late Nelson Mandela? So I went and asked her questions. She might want her serenity, but I can’t give it to her. I’m just going to ask you questions and then we’re going to pull you into our stupid conversations about nail polish. That’s just what’s going to happen.
Reese Witherspoon: Who JLo is dating?
Oprah Winfrey: One day there was this JLo thing, and I heard you say, “God, I really do, I love her. She’s my girl crush. I love her. I just love her but I don’t know if she loves me the way I love her.”
Reese Witherspoon: And then I’m like, “Oprah look at look at her butt in this picture, like look at her.”
Oprah Winfrey: I’m looking at her and I’m like, “I can’t give this much energy to JLo. I cannot. I cannot.”
Reese Witherspoon: She’s like, “I founded a school for girls, please please don’t make me talk about this.”
Oprah Winfrey: No, literally one morning I’m trying to do a board meeting with the school in South Africa on my headphones and they’re like talking about JLo…
Do they think this film is part of a movement to towards more female-centric films and female filmmakers?
Oprah Winfrey: Oh yes, in the Golden Globes speech I was saying a new day is on the horizon. It’s actually here and we are living it, this is it, we’re experiencing it, you’re seeing it up there on on on the screen.
I still have so much more to share. Make sure you follow along with all of the A Wrinkle In Time coverage!
From visionary director Ava DuVernay comes Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” an epic adventure based on Madeleine L’Engle’s timeless classic which takes audiences across dimensions of time and space, examining the nature of darkness versus light and, ultimately, the triumph of love. Through one girl’s transformative journey led by three celestial guides, we discover that strength comes from embracing one’s individuality and that the best way to triumph over fear is to travel by one’s own light.
Meg Murry is a typical middle school student struggling with issues of self-worth who just wants to fit in. The daughter of two world-renowned physicists, she is intelligent and uniquely gifted, as is Meg’s younger brother, Charles Wallace, but she has yet to realize it for herself. Complicating matters is the mysterious disappearance of Mr. Murry, which has left Meg devastated and her mother broken-hearted. Charles Wallace introduces Meg and her fellow classmate Calvin to three celestial beings (Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who) who have journeyed to Earth to help search for their father, and together they embark on their formidable quest. Travelling via a wrinkling of time and space known as tessering, they are transported to worlds beyond their imagination where they must confront a powerful evil force. To make it back home to Earth, Meg must face the darkness within herself in order to harness the strength necessary to defeat the darkness rapidly enveloping the Universe.
Directed by Oscar® nominee Ava DuVernay from a screenplay by Oscar winner Jennifer Lee based upon the beloved novel by Madeleine L’Engle, “A Wrinkle in Time” stars: two-time Academy Award® nominee Oprah Winfrey as Mrs. Which, Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon as Mrs. Whatsit, Emmy® nominee Mindy Kaling as Mrs. Who, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Mrs. Murry, Michael Peňa as Red and introducing Storm Reid as Meg Murry, with two-time Emmy winner Zach Galifianakis as The Happy Medium and Emmy nominee Chris Pine as Mr. Murry.
Produced by Jim Whitaker and Catherine Hand with Doug Merrifield serving as executive producer, the film also boasts an impressive creative team featuring some of the most talented and skilled craft persons working today, including: Tobias Schliessler, ASC as director of photography, Naomi Shohan as production designer, Oscar®-nominee Spencer Averick as film editor and two-time Academy Award®-nominee Paco Delgado as costume designer.