Storm Reid loved Meg Murry, the main character of “A Wrinkle in Time,” for years before she was cast to play her in Disney’s adaptation of the award-winning children’s book.
The ninth-grader first read Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 science-fiction classic when she was in the sixth grade. Storm says she felt an immediate connection with Meg, a brilliant but misunderstood middle-schooler who goes on an adventure across time and space.
“She’s such a peculiar character, and I wanted to know more about her. And I thought it was so amazing that she couldn’t realize how beautiful and smart and gracious she was, but everyone around her saw it,” the 14-year-old actress told KidsPost. “It took her a trip around the universe to notice that.”
Like Meg, Storm loves and excels in science and math. But she doesn’t think readers or viewers have to like those subjects to understand the character.
“I relate to Meg so much, and other teenagers and kids relate to her, because we are all trying to figure things out,” Storm explained. “We all might have things in our lives that are stopping us, but Meg shows all of us that we can overcome our challenges and we can live out our dreams.”
So by the time, in eighth grade, that Storm tried out for the role of Meg for director Ava DuVernay, she was very familiar with and eager for the part. But landing the dream role seemed nearly impossible.
“It was nerve-racking auditioning, because I felt so invested in the role, and I didn’t think I was going to book it,” Storm said. “But I went into it trying to be myself, letting go and doing my best.”
Storm said that her “best thankfully paid off.” Storm also said that she recognizes the importance of a nonwhite girl playing Meg, who is white in the original book and in previous screen adaptations of the story. In DuVernay’s version, however, Meg is biracial: Her father, Dr. Alex Murry, is played by Chris Pine, and her mother, Dr. Kate Murry, is played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
“I am a girl of color, and Meg wasn’t written that way originally, so for me to be able to portray that and represent girls who look like me and let them know they can do anything and empower them is very special,” she said.
On the six-month movie shoot, Storm had the opportunity to work with some of the most influential women in Hollywood, in addition to DuVernay. Co-stars Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling play three supernatural beings — Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who — who guide Meg, her genius little brother, Charles Wallace, and her friend Calvin on an interplanetary journey to find her missing father, a famous scientist.
Ultimately, the legendary Winfrey (a billionaire media boss, actress and philanthropist) gave Storm a piece of advice she says she’ll remember forever.
“She told me, ‘Don’t waste energy on things you can’t change in your life, when you could be using that energy on something else positive in your life.’ I took that, and it’s the best advice I’ve ever been given,” Storm said. “It’s become my life motto.”
Siblings: Two sisters and one brother, all older. “My sisters are 28 and 24, and my brother is 17, so I’m the baby, baby.”
Pets: Three dogs. “Prime is the boxer, Bella is the pit bull, and Cayenne is the red toy poodle.” Also, one betta fish.
Schooling: Home-schooled. “My schedule won’t allow me to go to regular school, but I did love public school, and I did experience my first year of middle school in a regular school. It has taught me a lot of responsibility being home-schooled, but I would like to go back to high school for a year.”
Favorite books: “The Giver” by Lois Lowry and “Heart Talk” by Cleo Wade. “ ‘The Giver’ is about being yourself and having to separate yourself from people who may not have the same morals and values as you — and sticking up for what you believe in . . . and ‘Heart Talk’ is a book talking to your heart about who you are; it’s a poetry book, and it’s an inspiring, awesome book.”
Favorite movie: “ ‘Matilda’ is my favorite movie of all time. It’s so funny. It’s about this girl who’s so independent and smart, and she has to learn how to get through all these challenges she faces, and she gets through them all so well.”
Favorite song: “Lemon” by N.E.R.D and Rihanna. “I have so many favorite songs! But if I had to pick one, I’d say that’s the song I consider my jam right now.”
Actor she’d most like to work with: “I hope I get to work with Ms. Meryl Streep. She’s so brilliant, great and gracious an actress and person. I would love to work with her.”
Hobbies: “I love to do gymnastics, I do taekwondo, I love to swim,” she said. “I am also really into arts and crafts. I feel like I’m a really artsy person. I love to tie-dye shirts and bake and just do nerdy and fun stuff.”