Storm Reid landed a breakthrough role when director Ava DuVernay cast the young actress in her 2018 screen adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 book, A Wrinkle in Time.
However, Reid soon found herself engulfed in controversy when some fans of the beloved novel balked at a Black actress playing a character who was depicted as white in the book.
“Some people had problems with me playing Meg because they’d loved her as a Caucasian girl for so long,” she told InStyle.
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“They were uncomfortable to have that shift, but the only way to create change in our world is through people willing to be uncomfortable,” added the 17-year-old actress.
Reid, who went on to roles in DeVernay’s acclaimed Netflix miniseries “When They See Us” and HBO’s gritty teen drama “Euphoria”, tells the magazine she’s “intentional” about the roles she takes on, hoping the material sparks important discussions.
“I see each one as an opportunity to have a progressive conversation and represent people and situations that are underrepresented,” said Reid. “Young girls deserve to see themselves onscreen. Because how can you feel like you’re able to succeed when you don’t see yourself succeeding?”
However, her experience with “A Wrinkle in Time” wasn’t just about the backlash. “When the film came out, little girls would come up to me and say, ‘Thank you for allowing me to see a girl who looks like me save the world,'” Reid said. “That’s when I realized my career was bigger than myself.”
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Despite her age, Reid is already looking farther afield and has even launched her own production company, A Seed & Wings Productions.
For inspiration, she looks to the late Chadwick Boseman. “He dedicated his life to being part of projects that benefited us as a Black culture, and that’s what I want to try to do,” she said.
“I’m really happy to be a young Black woman in the space I’m in — to be accepted, to be loved, and for people to appreciate my work — and I want to create opportunities for people who haven’t been given them yet,” added Reid. “Ms. Ava took a chance on me, so why wouldn’t I take a chance on someone else?”