Yep, safe to say Storm is on track to be the next big IT girl in Hollywood. Here, we chatted to her about her latest film role, breaking down racial barriers and joining the Disney fam.
Hey Storm! So first of all, tell me about your character, Meg in A Wrinkle In Time.
Meg is just a normal teenager who isn't very confident and doesn’t think she’s worthy of being loved, then she goes on a journey throughout the universe to find her father but during that journey she becomes one with the universe and with herself. She essentially saves the world and saves her father.
Sounds epic. Do you think people will be able to relate to Meg?
Yes, because she’s just a teenager trying to grow up while facing challenges in her life and she has faults but she’s accepting of them and I feel like we can all relate to that.
How did you prepare for the role?
I had to step into Meg’s shoes and become her and I wanted to stay true to her story and not alter her too much. Miss Ava (the director) was so great and helped me throughout the creative process and allowed me to put my input into her but I just really tried to stick with how she was written.
Speaking of Ava, she's said in interviews that your casting is a departure from the description of Meg in the book ‘coz she thought it was important to have a biracial lead so that girls everywhere would be able to see themselves in the film which is amazing! What are your thoughts on that?
Yes! Meg was written as a little Caucasian girl but I got to play her as an African-American girl and represent girls who look like me and inspire young people to know they are perfect just the way they are and they shouldn’t have to conform to what society wants them to do. I feel like it was a blessing to be able to do so and I felt really inspired as a young teenage girl playing Meg.
This movie has an incredible cast, what was it like working alongside so many icons?
It was so amazing! Miss Oprah (Winfrey), Miss Mindy (Kaling), Miss Reese (Witherspoon), Chris (Pine), Zach (Galifianakis), everybody was just so great to work with and they were so much fun. It was so great because they weren’t acting like they were these big A-list stars, they’re all just so humble and down to earth and they just really love what they’re doing which translates on screen and when I was around them.
What was the general vibe like on set?
We became a family, we’d joke around and laugh all the time. It felt like when we were going to work, we weren’t doing work because it was just so much fun like when we went to New Zealand, it was always a party on set.
What’s your favourite memory from filming?
I would say the experience of going to New Zealand and being able to do that with everybody, especially meeting new people and a new crew and having a change of scenery but still doing that with people I’d been doing this movie with for six months.
What was it like filming all the ~otherworldly~ scenes?
It was very otherworldly, yes (laughs). I did a lot of stunts and green screen work. It was kind of hard to imagine what was happening when you have nothing to look at but Miss Ava did a great job of showing us what was going to be in the film and I just had to think of something happy or scary or sad but once I got the hang of it, it was really fun and I got to learn something new.
What was the stuntwork like?
I did a lot of preparation for the green screen and stunts and Miss Ava was very instrumental in that process and she set it all up before we started shooting which was great. It was really challenging at first because it was something I’d never done before but once I started practicing, it became so fun and I’m really glad I got that experience.
You're now officially part of the Disney fam! Growing up, who were the Disney stars you looked up to?
I really looked up to Zendaya who was on Shake It Up and K.C. Undercover, and I thought it was so cool that a girl who looked like me was on a Disney show. I also really loved Princess Tiana because she was a princess of colour. Those were the two Disney girls who I really looked up to and admired!
What do you think viewers will LOVE about the film?
I feel like the audience will enjoy the journey throughout the universe and going to different planets and seeing Meg grow as a person but I feel like the message they’ll take from it is being inspired and being okay with themselves and knowing they can do anything they wanna do. I feel like people will leave inspired and more confident once they see the film.
Tell us about your acting journey so far...
I started acting when I was three so I’ve been doing it for a while now. I feel like this is my destiny, my calling because it’s something I asked my mum to do, it’s not something they put me into so I really think it was what was meant to be and I’ve been doing it ever since and I’ve been enjoying it.
And you're juggling your career with high school, right?
Correct! I am in ninth grade and I've been doing an online home schooling program for about four years now. I always do school work every day and I have teachers and a tutor who travels with me everywhere I go when I'm working. School is very important!
And lastly, what projects do you have coming up?
I did a Blumhouse film called Only You which comes out soon. I'm very excited for it! I also have some other things that I’m producing and hopefully acting in, so I feel like 2018 will be a good year!