Ava DuVernay’s live action adaptation of the classic novel “A Wrinkle in Time” makes it’s debut in theaters today. DuVernay made history as the first woman of color to helm a $100 million dollar blockbuster film when she signed on for the film, and of course, Ava, being the visionary groundbreaking that she is, put her mark on the film by not only casting three powerful leading ladies as the Mrs, but allowing children of all races and genders the ability to see themselves in a story that never included them before. At a recent press conference for the film, DuVernay, screenwriter Jennifer Lee, and the cast that included Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Storm Reid, Chris Pine, Zach Galifianakis, Levi Miller, and newcomer Deric McCabe, sat down to talk to select press about the film, their roles and more.
Ava DuVernay on who will identify with and who A WRINKLE IN TIME is for
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.
The three Mrs talk on working on the film, what it means to be included and how light can drown out darkness
Reese Witherspoon: 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.
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.
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 you just held 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 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.
Chris Pine on what his character’s relationship with Meg meant to him
[T]he 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 that? I mean, what are you talking about? 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, and he’s 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. There is no other, there’s no property or money or you know, none of that stuff matters. It’s this. So that moment when they meet, that’s like, the man finding his young inner child and remembering everything that’s beautiful, everything that’s beautiful about being a human.
Zach Galfinakis on the importance of young men and boys to see a new masculinity
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.
DuVernay on how working on A Wrinkle in Time “saved” her
There’s love in every frame of this movie and there’s love in every frame of everything that I do. I don’t have children. I won’t have children by choice. These films are my children, are what I leave behind. They have my name on them, have my blood in them. And so I feel I did that. And from there, you offer it up to the world and you hope that they can see our intention. But this was an extraordinary experience for me. It’s emotional to sit here with all of them because we really held hands on this and became a family, trying to just give a little bit of sweetness to the world in these dark times. It’s a tough time right now. And so this film really saved me in a lot of ways from kind of going down dark holes and kept me in a really light-filled place so I’m grateful for the past few years working on A Wrinkle in Time.
A Wrinkle in Time is now in theaters.