Rowan Blanchard Talks Wrinkle In Time, Working With Ava, and Her Directorial Dreams
When I think of Rowan Blanchard I think of her role as Riley Matthews on the Girl Meets World show, a reboot of the popular Boy Meets World show of my teen years. My daughter loved the show and was sad with it was over. In that show, Rowan’s character was very positive and bubbly. She was a complete ray of sunshine so seeing her take on a whole new role for A Wrinkle In Time was a big surprise for me. When we sat down to talk to the sixteen-year-old about her role in the film she was eager to share about working with Ava and woman’s empowerment.
We jumped right in with the interview asking immediately how was it for Rowan to portray the mean girl in A Wrinkle In Time since it’s so different from what we usually see her in.
I mean, it was definitely different for me. I felt like I was doing it in this way where it wouldn’t be, minimized to just a very stereotypical mean girl role. I really trusted Ava to make a character that felt complex and more than just a mean girl. I think there’s a lot of layers to Veronica that we get to see throughout the film. You guys saw it? There’s a lot of different parts to her that you sort of see as the film unfolds where she’s more than just the bad girl or the mean girl, which was a relief.
We continued by asking what she hoped young people would take away from the film once they saw it, and although she still hadn’t seen it at the time, she had a great response about how people were organizing to help others see the movie.
I still haven’t seen it so I’m so excited to know what you guys are talking about. But I guess it’s just this film marks such an incredible and unique time in history where so many people who have never seen themselves on screen are able to go to a film and see themselves starring in a huge sci-fi movie. Like, that’s massive. I was just looking on Twitter, there’s a lot of organizations led by young teenage black girls to buy movie tickets for a bunch of other young black girls to go see this movie.
And just that alone, the fact that people are organizing like this and are so prepared and ready for this thing to come out makes me feel so excited to be even a small part of it.
We went into asking Rowan if she learned anything different about herself by playing the role of Veronica. While she didn’t think it showed her anything about herself, it did make her aware of how bullies are sometimes people that are hurting as well.
I’m not sure if I realized anything specifically through Veronica. It definitely made me aware of how the bully is always the person who’s hurting so deeply inside, which is such a stereotypical thing to say but very true. And I think we see that in one scene with Veronica like the layers of her body insecurities and all of these things that are very, very real, that teenage girls sort of access every day. One thing that I definitely learned so much through filming this was Ava let me shadow her as a director. I learned a lot just about kind of what I want to do later in my life through Ava.
Rowan recently published a book called Still Here, we asked her to share about the process of creating the book and why she felt it was important to pen.
Yeah, I made this book called Still Here that just came out about a week and a half ago. And it was just really important to me I guess to have these concrete forms of how I view art, which I think is a lot more accessible than how we think of art in a museum or how we think of art as a big painting. I was really always inspired by my friends who kept diaries and whose thoughts were so pure and unfiltered. And being a teenager and specifically being a teenage girl or it’s just this point where your thoughts are not as informed with the outside world yet and you’re still processing so much yourself that your writing is more unfiltered.
So, I made this thing and I had I think 20 other contributors that helped me kind of compiled this thing that I think is about teenage survival. It’s cool that it’s sort of coming out during the time that this is. It feels like it’s a really cool time to be a teenager. It’s also a scary time. That’s cool. I don’t know. There’s a lot of feelings.
Rowan shared her dream of becoming a director in the future, we asked her if she could work with any director who would it be and why. Her words about Ava truly stuck with us all and we ended up sharing them with Ava.
I mean, I got to work with her. Literally, Ava. But seriously, you guys, her magnitude as a person is so overwhelming. And just the idea that this woman has worked so hard and still remembers everybody’s name. Like, that was the one thing that I realized so much on working on the same side as her is she knows the entire crew by name and just being able to follow this woman who’s so loyal to everyone around her and so giving and wants to not only succeed but wants to bring people up with her, it was so incredible.
I looked to her as so much more than just an inspirational director. She’s just like this incredible person that I’m so grateful to have in my life in so many ways.
ABOUT A WRINKLE IN TIME
From visionary director Ava DuVernay comes Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” an epic adventure based on Madeleine L’Engle’s timeless classic which takes audiences across dimensions of time and space, examining the nature of darkness versus light and, ultimately, the triumph of love. Through one girl’s transformative journey led by three celestial guides, we discover that strength comes from embracing one’s individuality and that the best way to triumph over fear is to travel by one’s own light.
Meg Murry is a typical middle school student struggling with issues of self-worth who just wants to fit in. The daughter of two world-renowned physicists, she is intelligent and uniquely gifted, as is Meg’s younger brother, Charles Wallace, but she has yet to realize it for herself. Complicating matters is the mysterious disappearance of Mr. Murry, which has left Meg devastated and her mother broken-hearted. Charles Wallace introduces Meg and her fellow classmate Calvin to three celestial beings (Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who) who have journeyed to Earth to help search for their father, and together they embark on their formidable quest. Traveling via a wrinkling of time and space known as tessering, they are transported to worlds beyond their imagination where they must confront a powerful evil force. To make it back home to Earth, Meg must face the darkness within herself in order to harness the strength necessary to defeat the darkness rapidly enveloping the Universe.