A WRINKLE IN TIME Press Conference – A Family Onscreen and Off

Let’s go behind-the-scenes of A WRINKLE IN TIME with Director Ava DuVernay and cast. On February 25th, 2018, the cast (including Oprah!) and director Ava DuVernay gathered in Los Angeles to discuss this long-awaited film.

Settle in for a discussion that highlights family, respect and pushing boundaries. Director and cast in attendance:

  • Ava DuVernay, Director
  • Jennifer Lee, Screenwriter
  • Oprah Winfrey (Mrs. Which)
  • Reese Witherspoon (Mrs. Whatsit)
  • Mindy Kaling (Mrs. Who)
  • Chris Pine (Dr. Alex Murray)
  • Zach Galifianakis (The Happy Medium)
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Dr. Kate Murray)
  • Storm Reid (Meg Murray)
  • Rowan Blanchard (Veronica)
  • Levi Miller (Calvin)
  • Deric McCabe (Charles Wallace Murray)

Film Synopsis: Meg Murry (Storm Reid) is an awkward, introverted high-school-aged girl who doesn’t fit in. Both her parents are scientists, and one day an experiment with “tessering” caused her father (Chris Pine) to disappear for going on four years now. Meg, her younger brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) and her friend Calvin (Levi Miller) are transported on an adventure through time and space by three beings. Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) and Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) help the children to find and hopefully rescue Meg’s father from the evil forces that hold him prisoner on another planet.

Watch the Press Conference:

The theme that kept coming up over and over was that of family. Not only is the story about a broken family trying to right itself, but the making of the film brought all of the people in this room together as a family. This starts with the director, Ava Duvernay.

Ava DuVernay: 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. 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 these people 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.

Oprah Winfrey: The whole process has just been one big delight.

Reese Witherspoon: My agent called me and said, Ava Duvernay wants you to be in a movie—’Yes! Great, when do I show up?’ 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.

Zach Galifianakis: I can’t really talk about it without getting emotional. Like when I first met Ava there was something about her that made me, I don’t know what it was. I feel real proud. Real proud.

There is a connection the actors felt, even while pushing boundaries and bringing this story to the 21st century. It’s not specified in the book what race Meg or her parents are. However, in Disney’s A WRINKLE IN TIME, Dr. Alex Murray and Dr. Kate Murray are a mixed-race couple. Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which portray three different women of three different colors. It’s a veritable rainbow! Mindy Kaling spoke eloquently on the subject.

Mindy Kaling: So, 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 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, it’s so fun because I finally feel welcomed with open arms to something that has ignored me completely.

Not only does A WRINKLE IN TIME push racial boundaries, but stereotypes as well. Meg is the focus of this story, and she leads two boys on this journey. They must follow her, which struck a chord with Zach Galifianakis (The Happy Medium).

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 are seen as sensitive, they’re made fun of. 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.

Moderator: And that’s why you were so perfectly cast, right? You’re so hyper-masculine.

Zach Galifianakis:: I think Josh Gad would’ve been better…

And now, on to a really important question originally posed to Ava DuVernay – what’s different about this project as opposed to others she’s worked on? Oprah jumped in with the perfect answer.

Oprah: Well, first of all, you have Disney money. You got the Disney machine and that’s why one of the reasons why this is so exciting, that Ava DuVernay is at the helm of that. And I’ve said this before. It makes me well inside. Fills my heart, every time I think about Ava and her dreads and her sneakers and these big cranes and all of these men running around, taking direction from her. And to see her be the master of that, to orchestrate all of that was powerful and inspiring. I was just so proud to be associated with her and her ability to make this film possible. So that’s what was different. I was with her on a film where literally we had one day to shoot everybody coming across the bridge in Selma. You got to get it before it rains, and if it rains, you’re not gonna get it. And you don’t have enough money to try it again. So, difference. Big difference.

A diverse cast, the Disney machine, a beloved story. A WRINKLE IN TIME opens in theaters everywhere on March 9th, 2018. Ava DuVernay hopes the film will capture the hearts of our inner child. Go on the ride with them and take some kids! For more family friendly movie news, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on instagramtwitter and “like” our facebook page too.

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About Richard & Sarah Woloski

Richard and Sarah Woloski are the co-hosts and creators of the Disney / Star Wars Podcast Skywalking Through Neverland. The husband and wife team strives to create a polished, positive and fun weekly show celebrating fandom. They also love writing for Adventures By Daddy. Find them @SkywalkingPod