Ava DuVernay Talks The Importance Of Natural Hair In A Wrinkle In Time
For the first time in history there are two Black directed films occupying the number 1 & 2 spots in the country. As A Wrinkle In Time sits comfortably at number 2, Ava DuVernay details with Vulture how the hair journey of Meg Murray, portrayed by Storm Reid, is precedent throughout the film. Reportedly in the original book, Meg’s hair played an issue on the character’s self-esteem.
Meg Murry, the young protagonist of A Wrinkle in Time, has always had a thing about her hair. In the first few pages of Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 book, Meg is preoccupied with its plainness: A far cry from her mother’s more glamorous mane, Meg has wiry, “mouse-brown hair” that can barely be tamed. “Meg’s hair had been passable as long as she wore it tidily in plaits,” L’Engle wrote. “When she went into high school it was cut, and now she and her mother struggled with putting it up, but one side would come out curly and the other straight.”
Ava says she took that same energy and made it “contemporary”, making a young Caucasian character in the film reinforce the beauty of Meg’s hair, calling it “big” for girls of color.
Hair is still an issue for Meg in director Ava DuVernay’s new screen adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time, but the insecurity she feels about her curls is political as well as personal. “Throughout the film, we tried to take what Madeleine L’Engle intended and push it even further in terms of a contemporary context,” said DuVernay.
For DuVernay, who based Meg’s look on her niece Molly, one of the most crucial relationships in A Wrinkle in Time is the budding rapport between Meg and her white classmate Calvin (Levi Miller), who twice compliments Meg’s natural curls. “The fact that this Caucasian boy says to her, ‘I like that’? That’s so big for a girl of color!” said DuVernay. “And it’s big for Caucasian boys to be able to feel that’s beautiful, too.”
Do you think this kind of validation “changes” the world in 2018?