I’ve had so much fun sharing insider details about Disney’s latest film – A Wrinkle in Time! Today, I’m sharing an exclusive interview with Gugu Mbatha-Raw who plays Dr. Kate Murry and mother to Meg Murry in the film.
I was invited as media to cover this event. All opinions are my own.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw Interview
While Gugu is not a mom in real life, she couldn’t turn down the role after Director Ava DuVernay showed her a picture of Storm Reid, who plays Meg in the film. She shared, “You know I saw myself in her. Growing up I loved the never ending story and the Wizard of Oz and all of those incredible fantastical adventures. But I didn’t have anybody who looked like myself and Storm as the heroine in those kind of movies when I was young. There was a special sort of cultural significance for me to be ushering in the next generation in that way.”
We also asked Gugu – What do you want kids or little girls specifically to take away from your role as a single mother and even the story A Wrinkle in Time?
She mentioned, “I think the idea that who you are is enough is something that I really you know respond to in this story especially you know Storm’s character growing up being bullied at school, being uncomfortable in her own skin, not sure where she fits.” Adding, “And I think the idea of being authentic to who you are that you don’t have to find validation from your career or from you know the music industry, from any external forces. I think that you have all the potential inside of you. And that’s something I think I would love young people to feel and learn and understand.”
Because A Wrinkle in Time is based on the book, we asked Gugu about her favorite books. She shared that growing up she actually struggled to read, mentioning “I found it really challenging.” Gugu continued with, “I remember my mom whenever it was time to practice reading my homework I would always make an excuse. And she would say ‘oh here comes the theatrics’…ironically now reading is a huge part of my job and reading scripts. So I’m so glad that my mom persevered with me.”
In addition to the storyline, Gugu shared that she was also attracted to the role because she would have the opportunity to work with Ava DuVernay. Adding, “talking to her about [the film] and her passion and her vision….knowing that she’d cast Storm and wanted to tell this story. I really wanted to be a part of this game changing moment really in the industry. It’s historically significant that she’s even directing
this film you know as a woman of color. And for me I wanted to be a part of that girl gang.”
We asked Gugu if there was a part in the film, or even the book that resonated with her. She shared, “[during] the first tessering moment, Oprah has the line ‘all you have to do is find the right frequency and be who you are’. And I was like, that’s the key to life, isn’t it? Just find the right frequency. Find your tribe. Find your purpose. Find the thing that sets you alight and you know your frequency, your vibe and then just do that, do you, be authentic.”
In the film Chris Pine and herself play these brilliant scientists. We asked if she had any previous experience or how she prepared for her role. Gugu said, “Oh my God, I have to confess it was a nightmare. The day that we were doing the sort of Ted Talk [in the film] And we were talking about entanglement and all this astrophysics which I have a very, very light grasp of.” Adding, “I’m not going to say it was easy. But we did have this wonderful consultant on the movie called Stephon Alexander who wrote the book, the Jazz of Physics. And he was there to sort of talk us through in layperson’s terms what we were talking about.” She also mentioned taking a trip to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory where they had the opportunity to meet real astrophysicists and rocket scientists.
An interesting fact we learned about Gugu Mbatha-Raw is that she picks out a certain scent to wear while filming to help her memorize her character, especially when there’s breaks on set for holiday and such. The scent she picked for her role in A Wrinkle In Time was jasmine, and she wore it again during the interview to help bring back memories about filming.
Gugu was such a joy to speak with. She’s very grounded and down to earth. We were so happy she took time to speak with us during the press junket.
A Wrinkle in Time opens in theaters everywhere tomorrow!