Ava DuVernay's A Wrinkle in Time has assembled a star-studded cast. From Wonder Woman's Chris Pine and The Office's Mindy Kaling to Baskets star Zach Galifianakis, the adaptation of the classic book of the same name has some big personalities as its legendary characters. That said, there's arguably no personality in the ensemble bigger than Oprah Winfrey, but it turns out that the Mrs. Which actress did not go through a traditional casting process to become part of the film. In fact, during a recent interview with CinemaBlend, Oprah revealed that she was initially just going to hang out on the set as a vacation until DuVernay decided to cast her. Oprah told us:
Oh, Ava is the visionary director of our time. Are you kidding? Who doesn't want to work with Ava DuVernay? Everyone does. And I was just gonna hang out and watch her say 'action.' That was my plan. I'm just gonna go to New Zealand and watch you go 'Action! Cut! I said cut!' And I said 'I'm gonna take off two weeks and come watch you film when you're in New Zealand.' And she said, 'If you're gonna do that, why don't you read the script and maybe consider doing this role.' And I said 'Okay!'
Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay were already well acquainted with one another prior to the production of A Wrinkle in Time. Oprah starred in DuVernay's film Selma, and they clearly developed a strong friendship and working relationship. Then, when DuVernay got the historic job of adapting A Wrinkle in Time, she offered Oprah the role of Mrs. Which when the former talk show host decided to hang out on the set.
Ava DuVernay's recollection of the situation was quite similar to Oprah's story. In fact, when CinemaBlend asked the director for clarification, DuVernay noted that she already had Oprah in mind for the role when the actress offered to visit the set. As the 13th director explained:
She thought we were just having a conversation about New Zealand. I was prepared to ask her to play the part. She just wanted to hang out. We had to bridge that gap. Okay? We had to bridge that gap. So as soon as she said, 'Oh I'll just come to New Zealand.' I thought, 'I got her. When you're there, why don't you do some work?' She said yes.
And the rest is history. The casting of Oprah has become one of the most talked about elements of A Wrinkle in Time's overall ensemble, and it arguably makes perfect sense. As Ava DuVernay noted elsewhere in her interview with CinemaBlend, Mrs. Which is supposed to be one of the wisest and most powerful beings in the universe, so casting a cultural icon like Oprah seems in-line with that idea.
With that bizarre casting situation now behind them, Oprah Winfrey's Mrs. Which will debut when Ava DuVernay's A Wrinkle in Time premieres in theaters tomorrow on March 9. Make sure to check out CinemaBlend's review of the film, and you can also head over to our review roundup to read what other critics have to say about it.