The Talkin’est Girls: My Interview with Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon & Mindy Kaling
Disclosure: This event and trip to LA was an all expense paid journey sponsored by Disney. All thoughts, opinions and experiences are 100% my own!
So this really happened. My Interview with Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon & Mindy Kaling. WOW.
That’s the back of my head in the photo above (far right) sitting about 5 feet from these 3 amazing women as they share their stories. The three of them coming together as the Mmes (plural for Mrs.) for A Wrinkle in Time could not be more perfect. If you are familiar with the story then you already know that it’s a tale of a young girl name Meg (played by Storm Reid, interview coming soon!) who is full of self doubt. The movie, based on the book, takes us on a magical journey as Meg finds her inner light. SO perfect then that these 3 women are the ones that guide her on her journey. Meet the Mmes:
Reese Witherspoon (“Mrs. Whatsit”), Mindy Kaling (“Mrs. Who”) & Oprah Winfrey (“Mrs. Which”)
I was definitely expecting this interview to be amazing, but what I wasn’t expecting was for it to be so hilarious and REAL. The chemistry between these three women is amazing, there was SO much laughter in this interview session.
Upon entering the room, Oprah immediately warmly greeting us with a hello to the bloggers and said:
Isn’t the blogging world fantastic? This world that we are living in where everybody gets a voice, and the power and authority to speak. And have what you say mean something? It’s incredible.
It hit me right in the heart because this is what I do for a living, and she is so right. We are so blessed to be able to speak our minds and share our thoughts with the freedom that we have to do so. And speak their minds they did…
Something else that I really want to mention (again) is how unbelievably down to earth these ladies were. I mean, let’s be honest. Oprah is practically the queen of the universe and yet, it’s like sitting with your best girl friends. Swapping stories and cracking up. Like a lot. A LOT of cracking up.
These gals are funny. And positive. And somehow – the short 20ish minutes that we spent in a room together – I left feeling changed. Inspired. I felt seen. And heard. Which is crazy right? Seen and heard by superstars. But that’s the whole point. They were present. Oprah was present. Engaging. She looked you in the eye when she was answering your question. She listened. She gave heartfelt answers.
If you have watched Oprah at all then you already know that she’s not shy! She makes you feel immediately like a friend. What a gift that is, right? None of them gave fluffy answers. Or hurried answers. They took the time to really give the good stuff. From the heart. And they didn’t hold back.
Really good stuff, like: “You get a car!”, and “You!”, and “You get a car!”
Just kidding. We didn’t get cars, but hearing the joy in her voice when she talked about giving away cars was amazing. She even shared with us that when she does the big giveaway shows, it isn’t really about getting the gift. It’s about the excitement of winning something. Getting something given to you. We had a blogger among us who had actually been on the Oprah Show the day she gave everyone in the audience a car and it was so fun to see Oprah’s reaction to hearing that she still had her car. I could tell that giving these gifts gives her great joy.
It was a non stop chat session and it was also laugh out loud hilarious. These three have the most amazing chemistry together and that didn’t surprise me at all because all three of these women are uplifters. They each spoke to the power of women in groups and how important it is that we support each other.
On Inspiring a New Generation
When asked about her hopes for inspiring others with this film, Reese said that it was one of the things that she loved about making this movie…
…the power of women when they are together. We are not against each other and when we get together, we create abundance. that’s been a driving part of my career, the more I collaborate with women, the more we create for each other. So I think that’s a that’s a concept that we need to put into our little girls’ brains.
Mindy agreed and added that she felt like she would have been inspired as a young girl watching the film.
The cast was so inclusive, I’ve never seen anything like that and I think that as a young woman I would have felt so much joy from watching it, so much happiness from seeing that. And as a dreamer I think I wouldn’t have had to dream quite so hard to picture myself on screen.
And of course, Oprah summed things up perfectly with her response.
Everybody’s goal, whether they can articulate it or not, is to live a life that matters. A life that has meaning. I think that my handprints and heart prints all over the Oprah Show for all those years is a magnificent purpose to have lived. But I also knew when we were doing this film that there would be young girls who would come along and they would see the Mmes and they would see me and that the imprint (the heart print) that I eventually will leave in this world will come from what is said in this movie. There will be generations to come that will be raised on this story, presented through Ava’s vision who will only know me through that. I could feel that when I was doing it.
The Mmes on Favorite Quotes from the Movie
There are SO many amazing quotes in this movie (many of them from the book) and here are the ones that they each selected as their personal favorites:
“I deserve to be loved” ~ Meg (Reese’s favorite)
I know what my favorite was, when Storm looks up and she’s talking to her little brother who’s been possessed by darkness and she says I deserve to be loved. I lost it. I just lost it, you all. I was like, we all deserve to be loved, and we all deserve to tell our stories and be the the center, the lead of our own movie, the captain of our ship. And we do not see that enough, we don’t see ourselves enough and I think a movie like this with a company like Disney getting behind it says so much to to young people.
“The wound is where the light enters you” ~ Mrs. WhatsIt (Mindy’s favorite)
There are so many quotations in the movie, but one of them really in a quick part is when Storm has fallen down and she’s she’s feeling hurt, she doesn’t want to stand up. And I (Mrs. Who) say the wound is where the light enters, which is so profound, but I love that one.
“Do you know how many millions and millions of events had to occur in order for you to be exactly the way you are?” ~ Mrs. Which (Oprah’s favorite)
Oprah expanded a bit on this and it was so moving:
I think this about my own life, as an African American who came from slaves. I think about it for everyone I meet. That’s why that was my favorite because when I got to say that to her there was a connection that she and I had that went beyond the characters. Like how much had to happen in order for you Storm to be here in this moment, having this lead roll in this movie and us experiencing this together. It was really powerful.
If you could turn ANY book into a movie, which would it be?
To Kill a Mockingbird ~ Reese
Caged Bird ~ Oprah
Harriet the Spy ~ Mindy
The Talkin’est Girls…
I was SO excited to get to ask these three a question about the making of this movie. As you might know, I am an O Mag Insider, which means that I am an ambassador for O Magazine. I came to be an ambassador because I’ve long been a huge Oprah fan and reading the magazine each month is one of my favorite obsessions. In the March issue of O Magazine they have an article about A Wrinkle in Time in which Oprah hints at these discussions that would take place in the make-up trailers on the set. I asked her if she could possibly give us a hint at what those discussions were all about. They all answered and it was pure gold:
These are the talking-est girls you ever saw, oh my gosh they talk about everything. What was on TV last night, what you didn’t see on TV, who they are are… they know everybody. They’re like in the cultural buzz. I mean I actually called Gail and I said, oh my God. Reese and Mindy talk all the time. You need to get to this trailer, you would love being here, because they know everything about everybody. They are walking People Magazines, they know everything that is happening with everybody all the time.
They (and we!) were laughing hysterically when Reese chimed in with her reasoning as to why she just couldn’t give Oprah rest in the trailer.
How many people do you know in this world who live in the United States who were personal friends with the late Nelson Mandela? Not too many! So I went and asked her questions, she might want her serenity, but I can’t give it to her. I’m just doing to keep asking you questions and then we’re going to pull you into our stupid conversations about nail polish. That’s just what’s going to happen.
And Oprah laughs and rolls her eyes and adds:
Literally one day there was this Jay Lo thing and and and I heard you say God I really do I love her, she’s my girl crush, I love her… I just love her, but I don’t know if she loves me the way I love her. I’m like looking at her and I’m like I can’t give this much energy to Jay-Lo I cannot. I cannot.
I LOVED this conversation so much. It was like conversation heaven. Oprah in her wonderful calming and powerful voice and the laughter. Pure joy and hilarious banter. Can these three please get their own talk show!?
A New Day is on the Horizon
We concluded our interview with Oprah touching on the trend of women in the film industry and other powerful positions and how things are changing through the beauty of storytelling and how these stories lead to change.
In the Golden Globes speech, I was saying a new day is on the horizon. It’s actually here and we are living it. This is it, we’re experiencing it! You’re seeing it up there on on on the screen. And the light has been shed by the beauty of storytelling.
People see themselves in the story, and recognize first and foremost, I’m not alone. So and when you think about it, major major major obstacles in our culture have been overcome. And the light has been shed by the beauty of storytelling.
“And the light has been shed by the beauty of storytelling.”
~ Oprah Winfrey
And, now for my very favorite part of the interview. We all headed over for a “group photo” which is something that we almost always do after these Disney interviews. We gathered together and the next thing that I knew, Oprah was pulling me into her on one side, and pulling Reese in from the other. She said “Sit up straight now… it makes your boobs look bigger!” And that’s how she is! She is so inclusive, and warm, and friendly .. and she has GREAT advice! It does make your boobs look bigger! Anyway, I just adore her and they way that she is such a light for others. It is very inspiring. She truly is one of the warmest and most engaging celebrities that I have ever met. She even stopped back by our interview room a bit later in the day to find out what we were having for lunch. No big deal… just Oprah. Stopping by. It was a pretty amazing day.
And here I am, right next to Oprah. Her arm is tight around me and I’m just giddy. I adore her.
Here’s a fun trailer to give you a peek at this movie :
Wrinkle in Time hits theaters March 9th!