If her name is any indication, Storm Reid is force of her own.
The 14-year-old powerhouse stars in the lead role of Ava DuVernay’s highly anticipated ‘A Wrinkle In Time’ as Meg Murray, the main character of Madeleine L'Engle’s popular novel from 1962 which DuVernay adapted into a Disney film that dropped it in theaters everywhere on Friday.
Meg is a magical kid, filled with wonder and brilliance. It’s in this that Reid sees much of herself, a young adult battling the challenges that come with puberty, navigating the muddy waters of middle school and struggling to find and fight for her own voice in a crazy world.
Storm herself has surpassed much of this, proving to be a young star with amazing charm both on and offscreen who will land more lead roles in Hollywood in no time.
“This has been an amazing opportunity so I think it’ll open more doors for me and so many other young African-American actresses and young girls,” Reid told Shadow and Act in an interview ahead of the film’s release. “But Meg ultimately taught me that I was okay and I’m enough and worthy of being loved and even though I knew that already, she showed me that I am the light and I can use my light to fight the darkness.”
Portrait rendering by Neko Harris.
The film follows Meg, who is on a hunt to find her scientist father who’s been swept away to a dark planet through a tesseract, a method that allows him to “wrinkle time” to travel through different dimensions. Meg is insistent upon finding him and with the help of her younger brother, Charles Wallace and her three guardian “warriors of the light,” played by Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling, she fights the forces of evil to find the light that leads them to her dad.
“Of course the biggest difference is that she’s a Caucasian girl in the book and I’m an African-American girl,” Reid said. “When I was reading the book I didn’t really think of her as being a black girl but when I got the script, knowing that she’d be a girl of color all made sense! It clicked.”
Reid said she read the book when she was in the sixth grade and that she chose not to re-read before she began taping the film to better tap into her own take on Meg and not be jaded by how she was depicted in the book.
“She’s the old Meg and this is the new Meg and we’re kind of modernizing her -- and even though we stayed true to her and told her story, I knew there would be some differences,” she said. “I basically created Meg from what I knew and Ava really helped with that.”
Working with such a star-studded cast was a remarkable experience for the breakout star, who said she one day dreams of being a filmmaker like DuVernay.
“(DuVernay) wasn’t just a director to me, she did everything in her power that she needed to do to make this film what it is,” Reid said of DuVernay. “She really put her love, blood, sweat and tears into this movie and she’s so hands-on in the creative process and making sure everyone feels comfortable with the diversity, inclusion and representation she has on her set. She’s just a powerhouse and of course she’s an amazing director.”
Reid shared similar praise of working alongside Oprah, which is another magical experience she said she’ll always cherish.
“She's so amazing! She’s so grounded and humble and so real, you can tell she really loves what’s she doing,” Reid said. “She’s just so talented and gives the best advice, she told me: ‘Don’t waste time and energy on things you can’t change in life when you can be using that energy on something positive in your life.’ She’s just so great, she’s Ms. Oprah. Mrs. Which was the wisest woman in the universe and I really think that role was made for her.”
A Wrinkle In Time is just the beginning for Reid, who’s also big into fashion, and wants to pursue more film in the future. She said she, her sister and her mother -- who raised her as a single parent and whom she considers her personal hero -- currently own a production company where they’ve already helped work on different projects.
“I love fashion so it’d be cool to do fashion in the future,” Reid said. “I do when I get very older want to hopefully become a filmmaker and direct my own things. I’d start off with short films but I’d be open to directing anything that stayed into my morals and values and what I wanted to do.”
Reid admits that she really doesn’t know what she’ll be doing in the next 10 or 20 years but “I know that the best is yet to come and whatever is meant to be will be and it will be for me,” she said.
“I just have to take it one day at a time and hopefully I’ll win an Oscar one day,” she added as she laughed. “To learn from (Ava) and take that with me as an actress and hopefully a future filmmaker, I just want to be like her and hopefully making her proud.”
A Wrinkle in Time is in theaters now.