Just in time for Women’s History Month, Walt Disney Films releases ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ this March 9th with some of our favorite and most honorable women in film. The highly anticipated Daddy/Daughter adventure stars Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peña, Storm Reid, Zach Galifianakis, and Chris Pine. Directed by Ava DuVernay, the mystical journey follows socially-awkward Meg, a young girl on a quest to find her father who went missing after discovering a new planet. With the help of three astral travelers, Meg finds herself and so much more during her eventful and revealing excursion.
The Source sat down with director and screenwriter Jennifer Lee best know for writing and directing the 2013 Disney blockbuster smash ‘Frozen’. Officially the first female director of a Walt Disney Feature Film, Lee shared pointers on how to kill self doubt and trust the signs around you. Check out part 1 of our enlightening conversation with one of the greatest yet vulnerable minds of our times.
“Kill self doubt.” Your 2014 commencement speech at University Of New Hampshire resonated with myself and so many others. Why that topic?
That commencement speech…no one knows this (you’re the first to know this) came out of ‘A Wrinkle in Time’. No one knew I was working on it at the time. I was deep in the heart of Meg and thinking about it. And I believed it was what she did for me, that character. So that’s what this movie is about and that message can’t get out there enough.
How do you pick yourself back up when self-doubt starts to creep back in?
There’s no one way. There’s moments when it hits you. I was in New York and I was working on Broadway and I said, ‘They’re gonna tap my shoulder and tell me to get out, They’re gonna be like what are you doing here?’ But I keep going back to that thing of saying if I’m feeling this way, all I need to do is acknowledge I’m feeling this way and take myself out of the equation. I am in no position to judge. Cry if I need to and step away and know that it won’t stay like this. I have to know that I am not being as good to myself as a friend would be to me therefore I don’t get to judge. I try to say, ‘It’s just right now.’
Many writers escape through their work and their imagination, this movie made me teary eyed as a young girl that grew up without her dad, how did this book inspire you?
The biggest thing about ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ was that I was a kid that always did everything wrong…was very disheveled…very severely bullied… and I was very alone because of that and what I loved about Meg was she wasn’t someone who had to change who she was fundamentally to be so extraordinary. She just had to know that in there she is of value and she just had to choose how to participate in it. And the strength she had to have to do that, from the moment I read that book I kept it with me and my daughter was reading it when I started writing this and we had endless conversations about this. It’s not about changing everything by yourself, it’s about accepting yourself and knowing you’re here for a reason. One of my favorite lines in the film is when Mrs. Which says to Meg, “Do you realize all the billions and trillions of events that had to happen to make you exactly as you are? And I never thought of that.
(to be continued…)
CLICK HERE to hear Jennifer’s Lee inspiring 2014 Commencement Speech at UNH!
‘A Wrinkle In Time’ hits theaters today!