You guys – I met Oprah Winfrey. Not only did I meet Oprah Winfrey, but I interviewed her. I mean… I really had to sit back and let that sink in. I know that I get to do a lot of incredible things because of my job, but this moment has absolutely made the top ten list of highlighted moments EVER. Oprah!
This woman is impactful. This woman is change. This woman is inspirational. You know it. I don’t even have to write it. There are things she has said throughout her career that literally WOKE ME UP// SHOOK ME TO MY CORE // SPOKE DIRECTLY TO ME. These thoughts still affect me at 40. Oprah. Oprah. Oprah.
And it didn’t even end there! In the same room during the same interview sat Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling. Powerhouse trio! We all couldn’t believe it!
I’ll start this whole rodeo with Oprah. How is she trying to make her mark these days? By playing a major role in Disney’s A Wrinkle In Time. I had the pleasure of flying out to LA to attend the premiere and take part in the press junket the day before. An amazing experience for sure!
So, I know you are curious! What was the first thing that Oprah said to us all that made us nod our heads in uniform?
I raised you all.
Yes. You. Did.
Every woman in the room understood exactly what that meant. A second mother to us all. A guiding spirit. A knowledgeable force. Yes. You. Did.
We wanted to know why Oprah decided to do this movie with Disney? She is already so accomplished. So finite. You have to question why people who have done so much continue to DO. But I know the answer… because it’s who they are. Oprah said she wanted to leave the right imprint on the world.
I do know for sure is that everybody’s goal is to live a life that matters and a life that has meaning. And I think that my handprints, my heart prints, all over the Oprah show for all those years is a magnificent purpose to have lived.
But I also knew when we were doing this film that there would be young girls like your daughter who would come along and they would see the “Mrs.” and they would see me and they would say, what do you mean she had a talk show? And that the imprint/the heart print that you eventually will leave in this world will come from what is said in this movie. For your generation that I helped to raise …there will be generations to come that will be raised on this story.
Of course, because A Wrinkle in Time is based on the original book, we had to talk about quotes! We asked the three women what their favorite lines were in the movie. Without spoilers – here are their moments:
Reese: When Storm looks up and she’s talking to her little brother and she says, “I deserve to be loved.” I lost it! I just lost it. We all deserve to be loved and we all deserve to tell our stories and be the lead of our own movie. We do not see that enough.
Mindy: Storm has fallen down and she’s she’s feeling hurt, she doesn’t want to stand up. And I say, “The wound is where the light enters.” It is so profound and you have said some quotations that are so smart about wounds but I I love that one.
Oprah: That’s why that one resonated so deeply with me because I’ve often said that the wounds help you create wisdom for yourself. “The wound is where the light enters”, when I heard that it it resonated deeply with me, because I feel that that is really true. That everything that happens to you – that wounds you becomes an open door for more light to actually come in.
My favorite is when Mrs. Which says to Storm, “Do you know how many millions and millions of events had to occur as they did in order for you to be exactly the way you are?” And I actually think that about my own life asana African American who came from slaves. That story – that journey. I think about it for the life of everyone I meet. Everybody on the planet, I just think of what it took to get you here.
Personally – I cried SO HARD when Mrs. Which said that quote because as a woman, I have struggled with self-doubt and self-hate. We’ve all gone through that. We’ve all been there. To hear it said in that way (and I don’t want to put the exact quote here because I want you to hear it in its pure form for the first time in the theatre) was so eye-opening. Even as a mother – thinking about all the struggles I am about to face with my soon-to-be-teen daughter. I know I have that quote in my back pocket to use during an upcoming rough day during her future journey.
And while we were in the room to talk about A Wrinkle in Time, Oprah couldn’t help but give a nod to Reese about what she’s doing to raise awareness over domestic abuse and violence through Big Little Lies.
Oprah: You know, I’ve done a hundred … I don’t know how many shows on domestic violence. I think at the time we ended it was about a hundred twenty-seven. And I thought that what Big Little Lies did in those six episodes to expose the horror of domestic violence the shame of it the guilt.
I thought they were able to do in six episodes what I tried to say for years and years. That’s the beauty of storytelling. People see themselves in the story and recognize first and foremost that they are not alone. When you think about it, major obstacles in our culture have been overcome. The light has been shed by the beauty of storytelling.
I remember going to a little town in Virginia in in the eighties where a young boy had been ostracized and they drained the pool. And so we did an entire Town Hall where people from the town said get out of town because he had AIDS. But then when it started to be integrated into the storylines in sitcoms, in movies, in Philadelphia – that’s when people’s ideas about it actually started to shift and- and- and to and to change.
There is real truth in this, right? It’s funny because I just started to watch Breaking Bad yesterday and, of course, the main character is a man who makes meth in an attempt to accumulate enough cash to sustain his family after he dies from cancer. And while I am 100% against drugs and completely oppose all drug dealers on the planet, the story has me empathizing for the lead. I find myself watching him from a parent’s eye and questioning what I would do if I only had a few years to live? Of course, in the comforts of my home, I can safely say, “NOT THAT” LOL! But there is an absolute truth in the fact that stories make you warm up to ideas that you never thought you would. It’s what we do with these stories that matter. It’s how we change the narrative that will directly have an impact on this nation and on our youth. The kids are watching and they are absorbing everything that we put out on the big screen.
So, what should we do with this? We should be responsible. We should put out stories with positive messages – subliminal or not. We should remind people that they have power and that they should use that power wisely. We should teach society that kindness is cool, being smart is cool, being friendly is cool and no matter what… you deserve to be loved.
These are the stories we are looking for as parents. These are the stories I crave when purchasing movie tickets for my family of five. A Wrinkle in Time gives you all of this and more. Two spoonfuls of exactly what your children need today. And as a parent, I needed it too! Ready for a small confession?
After watching this movie, I thought about how tough I’ve been on my children regarding school. I also thought about how tough I’ve been on my children regarding my expectations and how they impacted their emotional balance. I had a big A-HA moment in the theatre and when I came home from the LA trip, I actually sat down with my kids and told them that I was sorry. While I still expect that they do their absolute best, I am going to be much more aware of how I respond to any shortcomings. It all matters. Even the little disappointing glances you give when the grades aren’t to your standards. No, I’m not someone who shouts. But maybe I’ve made my children feel LESS THAN through my body language. Watching Wrinkle in Time made me more aware of myself. So, I am thankful for that.
On March 9th, be a warrior. See you at the theatre.
*Disney invited me to attend the LA premiere of Wrinkle in Time. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Travel and accommodations were covered.
**Interview photos by Louise Bishop // Official photos by Disney