I first remember when I met and interviewed Actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw when she was in Cinderella, that was a few years ago but I remember her beautiful smile and spirit. Now she is back and playing “Dr. Kate Murry” in A Wrinkle In Time and she is just as good! We had a chance to chat with her about her role, playing a mom in the movie, her struggle with reading as a young child and so much more, check it out inside and remember the movie hits theaters Friday, March 9th!
Gugu was so shocked when she walked into the room and we gave her a huge shout out!
You approached a role as a mother with such dignity and truth. Can you talk a little bit of about your process of finding that character?
Gugu: Oh, thank you. Yeah, I mean for you know I’ve never played a mom before. I don’t have kids. You know when Ava first approached me to play the mom in this I was kind of like, oh are you sure? I don’t know if I can pull this off you know. And then I saw a picture of Storm and I was like, oh my gosh, look at that, look at her. You know I saw myself in her. And I think you know it was really not lost on me that you know growing up I loved the never ending story and the Wizard of Oz and all of those incredible fantastical adventures.
But you know I didn’t have anybody who looked like myself and Storm as the heroine in those kind of movies when I was young.
So yeah, there was sort of a special sort of cultural significance for me to sort of be ushering in the next generation in that way. And like you say, you know I don’t get to go to all the fantastical lands that Storm and Derek get to go to in the story. So I sort of really felt like my job was to ground their domestic reality you know as –, and you know create that warm, solid family unit that everyone was so desperate to return to.
My daughter who is eight years old, she’s a huge fan of yours. We’ve watched Belle. You portray such a strong, young female you know role. 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?
Gugu: You know I think some of the themes are actually very similar for me and what I’m drawn to you know the idea of finding your voice. 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. You know those are definitely themes that were in Belle and in beyond the lights and in many stories that I’m attracted to.
And I think you know 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.
I wanted to know were you an avid reader? And if so, what are some of the works that you like to take along with you when you’re traveling?
Gugu: You know growing up I actually struggled with reading. I didn’t enjoy reading a school actually. I found it really challenging. I remember my mom you know whenever it was time to practice reading my homework I would always make an excuse. And she would say oh here comes the theatrics because I would pretend to do something or I’d would pretend –, you know I would start acting basically because I wanted to sort of put off my reading homework. And sort of ironically now you know reading is a huge part of my job and reading scripts.
Images via Louise Bishop and Disney