One of my surprise favorite interviews for A Wrinkle In Time is Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Dr. Kate Murry). We had a chance to sit down and talk Wrinkle with her, and the conversation took a lot of fun turns.
One thing we learned was that she wears a different fragrance for each character she’s playing as it helps her to get into the frame of mind for that particular person.
We also found out she wasn’t much of a reader when she was younger, but her mom made her do her homework no matter what.
“I was a hard person to teach to read and I empathize with anybody that struggles with reading.” ~Gugu Mbatha-Raw
It was fun learning all these interesting things about her as a person, but we also discussed things more relevant to the actual movie. Things like the types of heroines you see on the big screen, and all the science she had to learn for the movie.
Heroines In TV And Movies
Gugu Mbatha-Raw has previously talked about growing up watching heroines that didn’t look like her, and how the movie industry is now changing to reflect changing times; “I think it’s so exciting to have Storm Reid at the center of this film,” she added. “When I was growing up there weren’t any films really, certainly big Disney films, with young girls that look like myself or Storm as the heroine.” ~IndieWire
We asked about her experience with this. About growing up watching TV and movies with not many heroines on the screen that looked like her, and if there was a moment that she could look back on and remember saying ‘this is my time to be a warrior, I’m going to fearlessly pursue my goals’.
She responded by letting us know how important and supportive her mom was in her life:
“I think I just always have. I credit my mom with encouraging me and instilling confidence in me and she always supporting me. From going to ballet at age 4, and I was an only child so I didn’t have anybody to play with. That was how I found my playmates and my siblings in a sense was in my dance class, in my drama group and the school choir and you know.
Also, my mom was a nurse and she was a single parent. She worked full-time and she didn’t enjoy her job. I would see her come home from work really tired. And I remember thinking quite clearly when I was about 11, I was like ‘okay, I’m going to do a job that I love because you know I can see that this is wearing on my mom’.
I respect and I know that she’s doing that as a sacrifice for me but if I get the chance I’m going to do what I love. So I made my hobby my job basically.
And I think I’m stubborn as well. I’m sensitive but I’m stubborn too. So I think underneath it all I’m a marathon runner.” ~Gugu Mbatha-Raw
As a scientist myself, one of the most interesting questions we asked of Mbatha-Raw was about science stuff!
Question: You and Chris portray these amazing scientists and [are] doing all this stuff. What did you guys have to do to prepare, like the linguistic part of learning all the scientific [words]?
Mbatha-Raw: “Oh my God, I have to confess it was a nightmare. The day that we were doing the Ted Talk, there was sort of a flashback of a Ted Talk [in the movie] and we were talking about quantum entanglement and all this astrophysics which I have a very, very light grasp of.
It was our first day on set and I’m like, ‘oh my God, there’s Chris Pine and there’s Ava and there are four cameras and we’re on stage with a real audience’.
It was a lot getting to grips with all of that scientific language. I’m not going to say it was easy. But we did have this wonderful consultant on the movie called Stephon Alexander who wrote the book, the Jazz of Physics. He was there to sort of talk us through in layperson’s terms what we were talking about. We had dinner with him and could ask him lots of questions.
We also got a trip to JPL in Pasadena to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, [and we ] got to meet real astrophysicists and rocket scientists and people planning trips to Mars. That was really fascinating.
It’s funny you learn these things for a role and then it sort of evaporates out of your brain afterward. But it’s great to have the chance to sort of step into someone else’s shoes in a completely different world.”
A Wrinkle In Time Opens March 9th!