This is such an empowering movie for everyone, but specifically for young girls.
A movie centred around a 14-year-old brown girl. Do you know how much I would have cherished that when I was a 14-year-old brown girl. Because there was no one who looked like me doing anything like this. I was just looking for white girls with dark hair, I was happy with that [laughs]. Or a white girl with a round nose, I was happy if I got that.
But today, young brown girls and white boys will have someone to look up to in Storm and Levi, where they can dream and hope and aspire, where the power play is switched around and the brown girl is the leader. It’s inspiring for me to be involved on the periphery and support a project like this where so many young kids will see the reflection of themselves up on that screen and what impact that will have and in the future.
And 14 is a tough time for kids. There’s so much self-doubt at that age, there’s insecurity and a lot of susceptibility to outside influences, be it bullying or magazines and through all that noise, you have to find a way to hear your own voice and learn to trust that voice and understand you are who are meant to be, you are not meant to be anyone else. This is your plan. When Mrs Which says to Meg, ‘You have to find your own frequency,’ what a remarkable lesson for all of us especially today with social media, there are so many other frequencies happening around us. You have to find your own and have faith and loyalty in that. That will serve you better than anything in your life and anything becomes possible.
How would this movie have affected and guided you at 14?
Well 14 was a very difficult time for me, it was rough. And to have guidance at that age, my life might have been very different. But I do believe, the lowest moments in your life, the deepest pits where you don’t understand it then, when you’ve been around now for as long as I have, you know every single moment of emotional destitution, where you couldn’t see a way out, every single moment is a building block and another step in your journey to being who you are meant to be and you are meant to become.
One of my favourite quotes from the movie was when Mindy [Mrs Who] says, ‘a wound is when the light enters you.’ We see our struggles so often as experiences that make us weaker but it’s the opposite, they make us stronger.