“We Want To Inspire Young People To Just Be Themselves And Embrace The Light From Within” – Storm Reid & Ava DuVernay

A Wrinkle in Time tells the story of Meg Murray (Storm Reid), her brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) and their friend Calvin (Levi Miller) who, with the help of the peculiar Mrs. W’s (Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling), travel through space and time in order to find her missing father.

I recently caught up with the film’s Director, Ava DuVernay and star, Storm Reid (Meg Murray).

Ava has called this film her love letter to young people, between the ages of 7 – 14 because this age is the “really tender time in life where you are trying to figure out who you are and your place in the world – and, you know, we’re in a pretty messy world right now. So, to be able to talk to young people about the light inside them and try to plant a seed and try to cultivate that – how to be a good person, be kind to people, what matters … and giving them a little bit of beauty and spectacle while we tell those lessons was my goal”

Oprah Winfrey (Mrs Which) has said that “Storm will become to this generation what Judy Garland’s Dorothy was to previous generations.” That’s a massive statement but Storm takes it all in her stride. “It’s so heart warming to have somebody who is so loving, so admired and talented to say something like that about you is so cool. I’m glad I got this opportunity to be around Miss Ava, Miss Reece, Miss Mindy, Miss Oprah and get to learn from them and basically the opportunity to inspire a lot of young people to just be themselves and embrace the light from within themselves”.

This film is all about embracing your talents and being true to yourself. Ava was a successful movie publicist but at 32, she decided to walk away from that and pursue her dream of being a film maker. She says, “I think it’s a testament that you don’t have to stay where you are. You know I was happy in one job but I had a dream to do something else. I didn’t go to film school. I didn’t have the kind of opportunities that many of my counterparts had so I just created a way for myself and so I hope that people, whatever they are doing, can just see me as someone who pursued something that they loved at an older age and was still able to live her dream, and hopefully that will inspire people”.

What did Storm learn about her potential as a result of working on this film? “Coming off of the film I’d say that Meg and I grew up together, because I became more confident and I realised that I can abe the light, not only for myself but for the people around me, and I could use that light to save the world or at least make a change in the world. Of course I already knew that and that was already instilled in me by family and my mother but I just came off it more confident and more self sufficient.”

How do Storm and Ava follow this magical working experience, “(We)I just keep working and thank goodness that we get to do what we love, so yeah, how do you follow it? Just keep going.”

Keep going they wiil. Ava has just signed on to direct a feature films based on the DC Comic Book Series, The New God, and Storm is currently filming Only You, alongside David Oyelowo. I can not wait to see what they bring us next but for now we can all marvel in their latest collaboration, “A Wrinkle in Time” as it is in cinemas now!

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Movie Review: “A Wrinkle In Time”

Dear Ava,

After watching “A Wrinkle In Time”, your beautiful “love letter to young people”, I felt compelled to send you a thank you letter (Yes I know, I am no longer a young person but I wanted to let you know that your love letter to young people speaks to people of all ages).

Thank you for making my heart burst with joy and sing.

Thank you for making a film that shouts that each and every person is valuable, difference is good and that they are enough.  “Do  you realise how many events and choices had to occur in the universes leading to the making of you. Just exactly the way you are?”  (Mrs. Which to Meg)

Thank  you for pushing us outside of our comfort zones and for pushing yourself – thank you for having the courage to make this film.  “We can’t take credit for our talents. It’s what we do with them.” (Mrs. Whatsit) What you did with your talent in this film is wonderful. I am not denying there were some flaws but even a gorgeous diamond has its flaws and that’s not reason enough not to enjoy the sparkle or its beauty.

Thank you for allowing us to feel the fear but also encouraging us to do something “It’s OK to fear the answers but you can’t avoid them” (Happy Medium)

Thank you for reawakening and re-igniting the light in my heart that should be ablaze in all of our hearts. Thank you for inspiring me.

To paraphrase one of the lines from the film, “All of those willing to face the darkness and bring the best of themselves to the light for the world, they are Warriors on Earth” You Ms Ava DuVernay are a Warrior. Thank you so much for shining brightly, never dulling your sparkle and encouraging all of us to do the same. There can never be too much sparkle/light in this world and together, with love, courage, and hope we can overcome the darkness.

In gratitude, love and light,

** “A Wrinkle In Time” is in Irish cinemas on Friday 23rd March.

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“Oh f*&k, don’t make me do this, Garth” – Why Rooney Mara wanted to run from “Mary Magdalene”

Garth Davis and Rooney Mara re-team to tell the untold story of Mary Magdalene.

Garth was “shocked that this story has never been told before”. When he presented the idea to Rooney, her first response was “Oh fuck – don’t make me do this Garth!”

Although initially overwhelmed by the task, Rooney was also “compelled to right the wrong of her story being mistold all these years”.

Now that the film is complete, Garth hopes that “this film brings about conversation and gives women more avenues to be heard within places of faith but also to encourage everybody to kind of remind them that the kingdom is within them and that through unconditional love we can make a real impact in the world.”

Watch the full interview below, where Garth and Rooney also share how the cast would unwind after a tough day of filming, and talk about their next project.

“Mary Magdalene” is in Irish cinemas now


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David Oyelowo – “Only do it if it’s the only thing in the world you want to do”

David Oyelowo stars alongside Charlize Theron and Joel Egerton in “Gringo”, in a role like no other we’ve seen him do before.

I caught up with David to talk about his new film and why it was important to him to help shape the character.

He also shared why he decided to leave his comfortable life in England to pursue his dream career in Hollywood; how he back himself;  how he got through the tough times and; David had some great advice when it comes to choosing your career.

“Gringo” is in Irish cinemas now.

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Allison Janney – “People didn’t know what to do with me”

After what feels like forever, finally Irish audiences can check out Allison Janney and Margot Robbie’s oscar worthy performances in “I, Tonya” as it hits our cinemas today.

Recently I caught up with the brilliant Allison Janney, who has been scooping up all the awards for her portrayal of Harding’s mum, LaVona Golden.

She shared with me her excitement of being nominated for an Oscar, what she’s looking forward to most in the lead up to the event and on the night itself, and, why like Tonya, she had to fight to be herself.

“I, Tonya” is in Irish cinemas now.

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From Pinky Promises to the Oscars – Steve Rogers and Craig Gillespie talk “I, Tonya”

When writer, Steve Rogers, sealed the deal to turn Tonya Harding’s life story into a film, with a pinky promise, the last place he thought he would be going to was the Oscars!

But, the film that tells the story behind the Nancy Kerrigan attacks, and shines a light on what Tonya Harding’s life was really like, has taken the world by storm, delighting both audiences and critics alike.

I recently caught up with Steve and the film’s director, Craig Gillespie, to find out why they thought Tonya Harding’s story would make a compelling film, what Tonya thought of the film, and how they’re celebrating the film’s success.

“I, Tonya” is in Irish cinemas on Friday 24th February

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Repeal The Eighth

Only a few months ago I walked past some pregnancy test shelves and thought to myself, wow that’s a period of my life that is now over. It was hard to comprehend that as pregnancy tests have been a very big part of my adult life.

I have had a tempestuous relationship with pregnancy tests. At the very beginning I was panic stricken, hoping they would come up negative as I wasn’t ready to have a child. After many years, it shifted to joy when tests came up positive, and then for a couple of years it was disappointment every time I saw the negative symbol.

I recognise that I was very fortunate that each time the tests came up positive I was happy with the result and ended up with two wonderful children.

I was very fortunate to have had two very straight forward, unproblematic pregnancies.

I was very fortunate to be able to make the decision about what I wanted to happen to/in my body.

I was very fortunate to be able to make the decision to go ahead with the pregnancies when the test came up positive.

When a pregnancy test comes up as positive, it is not always a joyous occasion. In some circumstances, that result brings pain to women. To further compound that pain, here in Ireland, women can not decide what happens to their body. They are forced to go through with a pregnancy regardless of whether or not they want to; and/or whether or not it is in their best interests.

It’s great that the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, has finally committed to having a referendum over whether or not to Repeal the Eighth Amendment, this summer.

But it makes me mad that this has to go ahead at all.

I am mad that we as women do not have a say over what happens to our bodies.

I am mad that the women of Ireland are not trusted to make decisions about their own bodies.

I am mad, that people who should have no say in what a woman does to her own body will be deciding whether or not a woman can be the boss of her own body.

I am mad that this campaign will become ugly.

I am mad at the many lies will be put out there.

I am mad that people are saying women will use abortion as a form of contraception. Abortion isn’t a pleasant experience and women do not go into this decision lightly. They will not be using abortion as a form of contraception! If a woman decides that this pregnancy is not right for her, she should have every right to decide to end it.

I am mad that this is going to cause more duress for many women but I am also thankful.

I am thankful to those amazing women who have been fighting/campaigning to have the Eighth repealed.

I am thankful to those amazing and courageous women who have shared their painful stories in the hope that future generations of Irish women will have autonomy over their own bodies and not have to endure what they have had to.

I am also hopeful.

I am hopeful that the Irish people will get out and vote to repeal the eighth.

I am hopeful that my daughter will grow up in an Ireland that trusts its women and gives them back sole autonomy over their bodies.

So when it is time to vote, please make sure you are on the register and then go out there and vote for a woman’s right to choose. Vote to Repeal the Eighth.

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