A visit with "A Wrinkle in Time" star Storm Reid

Credit: Jennifer Brett

Credit: Jennifer Brett

Storm Reid plays lead character Meg Murry in “A Wrinkle in Time,” in theaters Friday. The science-fiction adventure film based on the beloved young adult novel features A-listers Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling, along with Chris Pine and Zach Galifianakis; it was directed by Ava DuVernay (“Selma,” “Queen Sugar”).

Yet with all that star power swirling about her (or maybe because of it) Reid, 14, was thrilled to be back at her former grade school the other day. Chestnut Elementary Charter School in Dunwoody welcomed her back for a visit to celebrate the upcoming film and we got a few minutes with the brilliant young actress in the library, after she exchanged lots of warm hugs.

“I feel like my most genuine friends are here in Atlanta,” she said. “It’s kind of hard to make friends in a new place, especially when things like this are going on, because you don’t know how genuine they are. To come back here, nobody cares what I’m doing. Of course they’re proud of me but if I stopped acting tomorrow, they wouldn’t care. To be around people I love the most is really important.”

To be sure, everyone at the school cares about what Reid is doing and was excited to have her back for the day. She lives in Los Angeles now and is completing the ninth grade with the help of on-set tutors and online programming. For the moment, she was happy to be back in her old school’s library, where organizers brought in stacks of Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 book for the occasion. She loved the book before taking on the movie.”Meg is very determined, especially when she believes in something that she’s passionate about or that she loves,” Reid said. “I feel like I’m the same way. I feel like a lot of people can relate to Meg. Meg is going through challenges in her life. She’s trying to overcome that and learn and grow. As people in this thing called life, we’re trying to do that all the time.”

The plot, if you haven’t read the book, is magical yet universal. Meg and her little brother Charles Wallace (played by Deric McCabe) travel the universe in search of their lost father (Pine), guided by three mystical beings (Winfrey, Witherspoon and Kaling). Meg must combat powerful external foes by summoning her internal strength.

“My favorite part of Meg’s journey is she grows a lot,” Reid said. “At the beginning of the book and the movie she’s not too confident. She doesn’t think she’s worthy of being loved. On this journey around the universe she really finds out that she is the light, she does have light within herself. She is so beautiful and so smart. For her to go on that journey and experience that with her was really fun.”

Image: Walt Disney Pictures

Working with with all-star cast was an extraordinary opportunity, Reid added.

“They were all so amazing. I learned constant graciousness,” she said. “Even though they’ve been in this business for such a long time they are all so humble and so grounded.”

Reid said she announced at age 3 she wanted to become an actress, and is appreciative at landing such a major role so early in her career.

“As an actress I grew during the six months” that the movie filmed, she said. “I feel like Meg helped me grow.”