Interviews

Oprah Winfrey, Mrs. Which & A WRINKLE IN TIME

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Oprah Winfrey during the press conference (Photo by Jana N. Nagase)

Last Sunday, February 25, a press conference to promote the new upcoming movie from Walt Disney Studios, A Wrinkle in Time, happened in Hollywood (CA). One of the most popular hostess, entertainer and philanthropist from nowadays, Oprah Winfrey, was there to talk about her role as Mrs. Which alongside with the director Ava DuVernay, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, and more. A Wrinkle in Time is a adaptation to the big screen of the classic children’s book that has the same name. At the center of the story is a 13-year-old girl, Meg Murry – played by Storm Reid – who is bullied at school because, among other things, her father disappeared without a trace four years earlier. When she arrives home, her younger adopted brother Charles Wallace, played by Deric McCabe, has invited a strange woman into the house identifying herself as Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon). Soon, the kids are introduced to Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), and Mrs. Which. The fantasy adventure was adapted by Jennifer Lee, who wrote Frozen.

Let’s check it out what Oprah Winfrey spoke about collaborating once again with Ava DuVernay – they worked together on the acclaimed historic drama Selma; the character, working with Disney, and more. A Wrinkle in Time opens on March 9.

Did you feel this character was tailored to you?

Oprah Winfrey – Yes, I did. As a matter of fact, I actually did. You all have heard me say this before and it’s so true. Ava and I are talking on the phone and when she went to New Zealand and posted pictures of scouting for New Zealand, I have been in New Zealand the year before, in Auckland (capital), and did not get to visit the South Island, and I had wanted to do that. Everybody says, you didn’t get to the South Island, you haven’t really seen New Zealand. So, when I heard that she was going to be filming in New Zealand, I said to you, I’m going. I’m going. I’m just going to go. And she goes, what do you mean, go? I go, I’m just going to go hang out with you for however long it takes, I’m going to block it on my schedule, I’m going to be there, I’m going to watch, shoot and say “Action!” because I can. She said, “if you’re serious about that, if you’re really serious about that, you’d actually come to New Zealand?” I go, “for sure I’m going to be there. And she said “Well, why not take a look at the script? I’ve been wanting to ask you to do this, but I didn’t want to pressure you because of our friendship.” I go, “Okay, I’ll do it.” I didn’t even know what it was… I’ll do it. And then I thought, “Okay, let me read the book, see what this is.”

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Oprah Winfrey is Mrs. Which in Disney’s A WRINKLE IN TIME. ©Disney Enterprises. (Photo by Atsushi Nishijima)

You never read the book?

Oprah – I’ve never read the book and, you know I’m a reader. But it never got to my neighborhood.

It was banned. Maybe that’s why.

Oprah –  It wasn’t until the very first day I was called for the fitting for the costumes with Paco Delgado that I realized, “Whoa. This is some kind of movie.”

You did some wire work, right?

Oprah – The first day on the wires, I went, this is really some kind of movie. What kind of movie is this that she had just came up out of the imagination. It has been, the word “delight,” when you look up the word “delight,” there’s my picture. For being in this film, the whole process, has just been one big DELIGHT.

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Oprah Winfrey is Mrs. Which and Storm Reid is Meg Murry in Disney’s A WRINKLE IN TIME. ©Disney Enterprises. (Photo by Atsushi Nishijima)

What’s different about this project as opposed to some of the other ones that you and Ava have collaborated on? Not just the script obviously and the cast, but in terms of the process with working and how you arrived to this point?

Oprah – Well, first of all, you have Disney money. (Everybody and Oprah laughs) What’s different is Selma, at the end, we were like, “Are we’re going to have enough money? How much do I have? Let me try to help you out here.” With this, you’ve 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 it.

I’ve said this before. It makes me well up inside. It fills my heart, every time I think about Ava and her dread-locked hair and her sneakers and these big cranes and all of these men running around, taking direction from her. To see her be the master of that, to orchestrate all of that was powerful and inspiring. It touches the part of us that recognizes, “Oh yeah, we can do that, we’ve always been able to do that.” 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. We had to get it before it rains, and if it rains, we’re not going to get it. We didn’t have enough money to try it again. So, it was a big difference.

You say in the movie that we need to restore hope. What do you think it’s possible to be hopeful in times like these?

Oprah  – Oh yeah, for sure. 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. It just takes 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.

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