Remember when I shared my bookshelf shame? How, a few years ago, the books on my kids’ bookcase didn’t reflect the world? And how Matthew’s books, When God Made You and When God Made Light have impacted so many families, particularly those who loved seeing a child that looked like their’s on the cover?
Well friends, now I am going to talk about the movies we are watching on Family Movie Night. The problem is there too. Why are so many of the movies featuring lead characters who are white? Where is the diversity? Where are the kids that look like my African American friends? My Indian friends? My Hispanic friends? Why aren’t they playing the leads? As parents, we need to ensure that our kids are consuming a wide-range of media that reflects the world. We also need the film industry to provide us with good options, which is what Disney and Ava DuVernay have done with A Wrinkle in Time.
An Interview with Storm Reid
The diversity in the cast is one more reason why I love the film and believe it to be incredibly important for families to see. This importance of having a diverse cast was a common theme throughout the interviews with the A Wrinkle in Time cast. The lead, Meg Murray, is played by Storm Reid, a fireball of passion and talent who is also African American. Here are a few of my favorite moments from our interview.
On being a multicultural heroine & empowering girls
In our interview with Meg, she didn’t shy away from this topic, saying pointedly when asked how it felt to be a multicultural heroine and inspiration to little girls:
Yes. And it means everything to me and it’s very empowering for me still as a young, little girl being able to represent the little girls that look like me and being able to give them hope and know that they can have any opportunity they wanna have and they can do anything no matter their big hair or their big nose, as people say, or their glasses or their skin tone. They can do anything. So, for me able to be that for them and be an inspiration and to uplift them and empower them in a time like this where everybody’s so divided and it’s so dark. It means a lot.
On working with Oprah, Reese & Mindy
Our group wanted to hear all about working with Oprah, Reese and Mindy. In the movie, each of the Mrs. left Meg with a gift. What would you say that Oprah, Reese, and Mindy left you or what you learned from each of them from working with them in the film?
They’re all so great and I learned from each and every one of them constant graciousness, because they are just so, so amazing and so empowering. And they’re these A List stars, but they don’t act like it. And they are so grounded and so humble. And I just love them. And then Miss Oprah told me don’t waste energy on things you can’t change in life when you can be using that energy on something positive in your life. I’m glad that I have them in my corner to pour into me and just be around me, ’cause they’re amazing women.
On being yourself
In the movie, Meg is tempted by a “bad girl” version of herself. The audience sees Meg make the empowered choice to choose her true self. Storm was asked her thoughts on this scene.I love the scene where you are being tempted with the bad girl version.
I feel like it had a deeper message in that scene with — for me and for young girls not to conform to what society wants you to be and what society thinks you should be or how you should look, because you’re perfect just the way you are. And you have Meg, who is doubtful about herself and doesn’t love herself at the time. And you have this perfect version of her with this straight hair and this crop top and all these lil’ trinkets and who is really pretty and is cute.
But Meg chooses herself over this perfect Meg, because she is realizing that she is enough and that she is worthy of being loved just the way she is. I’m glad that I was able to connect with that as a young teenage girl trying not to follow trends and trying to be unique and be myself. I feel like that will transcend to our audience, especially our young girls.
On lessons learned
Playing a character like Meg taught Storm an important lesson, and audiences will be impacted by this lesson too. I was so impressed by Storm’s ability to articulate this.
I did learn that I am enough. And, of course, my mom taught me that and instilled that in me, and I’m pretty confident. But being Meg and going through that journey with her where she doesn’t feel that way about herself and she has to embrace the light from within to become that, it really helped me do the same and really reassure that I was enough and that I am worthy of being loved, and I do have faults and challenges, but that can’t stop me.
I absolutely LOVE Storm Reid. What an incredible role model she is for our kids. I’m so happy she is in A Wrinkle in Time and I know we will see a lot more from her in the years to come.
A Wrinkle in Time opens in theaters everywhere this Friday. Get your tickets now. You are going to love this film.
Disclosure: Disney flew me out to the LA premiere of A Wrinkle In Time. Travel and accommodations were paid for. All opinions are my own.