Atlanta native Storm Reid on the rise, talks latest ‘Invisible Man’ film

Credit: Mark Rogers/Universal Pictures

Credit: Mark Rogers/Universal Pictures

Originally posted Tuesday, February 25, 2020 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

There is a Storm a-brewin’.

Actress Storm Reid, a 16-year-old Atlanta native, has been able to do quality work the past couple of years in Ava DuVernay's "When They See Us," HBO's controversial "Euphoria" and Disney adventure film "A Wrinkle in Time," directed by DuVernay.

Now she’s ventured into horror in a film “The Invisible Man” she believes elevates the genre.

It opens wide this Friday, February 28 and is based on the H.G. Wells novel. The reboot also features "Handmaid's Tale" star Elisabeth Moss and Aldis Hodge ("Hidden Figures," WGN's "Underground").

In it, Cecilia (Moss) escapes from the clutches of her abusive husband Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) with her sister (Harriet Dyer), her childhood friend James (Hodge) and his teen daughter Sydney (Reid). Adrian supposedly commits suicide and bestows her $5 million, but is he really dead?

“It’s a piece talking about gaslighting, toxic masculinity and domestic violence,” Reid said in a recent interview. “I really try to be in projects that are purposeful and that people will relate to.”

She said her character cares deeply about the main character Cecilia. “At heart,” Reid says, “she is just a young woman who is very mature for her age. She looks to Cecilia as an aunt figure, maybe a mother figure. Her mother is no longer in the picture.”

It breaks Sydney’s heart to watch Cecilia suffer so much and appear to lose her hold on reality. But Sydney ultimately helps save Cecilia from “The Invisible Man.”

“She had to grow up a lot faster than she would have liked,” Reid said.

And interacting with an invisible figure was a lot harder than it looks.

“We had nothing to work with,” she said. “I had to imagine the unimaginable, which was difficult. It really challenged and pushed me as an actress.”

Reid likes how horror can be more than just scares, that social commentary can be embedded in it, like “The Quiet Place “ or “Get Out.”

And she learned a lot just watching and speaking to Moss, who broke it big on AMC’s “Mad Men.”

“She really pays attention to detail, which I admire,” Reid said. “I’m an observer. She’s an observer observer. She really pushes hard to make sure a project is great as a whole. She makes sure everyone wants to succeed.”

One of her proudest moments so far in her short career was working on the widely admired 2019 Netflix series “When They See Us” about five black boys falsely accused of the Central Park rape killing in 1989. She had a recurring role as a girlfriend of one of the accused.

“It’s a project that was so important,” she said. “I’m so glad people have been so open about receiving it and loving it. The project didn’t give those five men their time back. It did give them a piece of justice. Miss Ava made sure the story humanized them rather than dehumanized them like the media did so many years ago.”

She also was thrilled to work on "Euphoria," about high school students going through relationships, tragedy, sex, drugs and all that fun stuff. She plays the younger sister of Rue (Zendaya), who is a drug addict.

“I feel like ‘Euphoria’ bridges the disconnect between adults and young people,” she said. “Young people are not always jolly and having fun all the time. It was controversial for all the right reasons. It’s telling the truth and pushing the envelope in ways people are not used to.”

Reid grew up in Atlanta but moved to Los Angeles when her career began heating up a few years back. She did recently shoot “Suicide Squad” in metro Atlanta.

She is also looking ahead beyond merely being in front of the camera. She has formed a production company with her mom and sister and working on an unnamed project in Atlanta as an executive producer and star. “We are about to go to buyers and networks very soon,” she said.

Reid’s goal isn’t to make the most money: “I measure my success based on impacting people’s lives and doing that through my art. And I want to expand in philanthropy as well.”