'Are You There God? It's Me Margaret' has a great cast.
The Cast Of Are You There God? It's Me Margaret Honors The Book Beautifully

They’re all Judy Blume approved!

Trying to cast a movie based on a book read by millions of people not just from this generation, but from the past five decades, is no easy feat. We all read books with pictures in our minds and get very attached to those pictures. So when the movie version of Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret was first announced, there were plenty of people who were anxious to see how the cast would play out.

Who would play Margaret Simon, the young girl we all identified with who was worried about her period and boobs and having to play “two minutes in heaven” at parties? Who would play her pre-teen sensation friends Nancy, Janie, and Gretchen, equally obsessed with all of the above? Who would play Margaret’s mom, her dad, her amazing grandma Sylvia hanging out in Florida?

Fortunately for us, the casting department were absolute geniuses. So much so that Blume herself finally agreed to allow a movie version of her famous book to be made after saying no for 50 years, simply based on the casting. “When I write I hear the characters, but I don’t see the characters,” Blume told Publishers Weekly. “So to see them now after 50 years is incredible. And they are even better than I imagined.” The 85-year-old author also admitted that she wanted to see her characters brought to life while she still had the chance. “I realized I wanted to see it while I’m still here.”

We’re so glad Blume decided to allow Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret to be made into a movie after all these years. Especially after seeing the cast.

Abby Ryder-Fortson as Margaret


It’s safe to say that the casting choice that would be most closely watched for Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret is Margaret herself. After all, she has represented prepubescent girls who are growing into their own skin, their own way of looking at the world, since the book was first published in 1970. Watching Abby Ryder Fortson wrinkle her brow and grimace and act all mortified while bra shopping felt like reading the book again for the first time. The 14-year-old actress, who played Paul Rudd’s daughter Cassie in 2015’s Ant-Man, is the child of two actors, John Fortson and Christie Lynn Smith, so it’s perhaps not terribly surprising that she knows what she’s doing. Beyond simply being a good performer, however, Ryder Fortson seems to embody the essence of Margaret. A preteen girl who just wants to get her period.

Rachel McAdams as Barbara

Rachel McAdams plays Margaret’s loving, complicated mom Barbara, who is struggling with the fact that her own Christian parents don’t support her marriage to her Jewish husband. McAdams is a mom of two herself, a son and daughter with husband Jamie Linden, and she admitted to People that her role as mom helped her understand Barbara better. “As a mom, it’s not too, too hard to find the messiness, the privilege of getting to watch a child grow up and be their parent,” the Mean Girls actress said, adding that Barbara is a “a great mom. She’s imperfect, but that makes her perfect.” And McAdams is perfect at playing the imperfect mom.

Kathy Bates as Sylvia

Grandma Sylvia was always a fan favorite in Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret. She had style, she wore bright colors, had loads of energy and, as the only one of Margaret’s grandparents who really spends any time with her. Plus, she was sassy and not afraid to speak her mind. In other words, Kathy Bates was the perfect choice to tackle the role of Grandma Sylvia Simon. Bates, who is best known for her role as Annie in Misery but has definitely played warmer roles since, looks like exactly the kind of grandmother you want and want to be someday. Fun, engaging, wearing caftans on the regular. We’re into it.

Benny Safdie as Herb

Margaret’s dad Herb is the one who instigates their move to the suburbs, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for him. He wants to make his wife and daughter happy, he wants to nurture Margaret’s natural feisty nature, and he wants to find his own way as well. Will Benny Safdie, half of the legendary Safdie brother directing duo, be able to pull it off? Early glimpses at Margaret and Barbara engaging with solid, trustworthy Herb tell us yes. Plus we already know him from Uncut Gems and Licorice Pizza so I think we can trust him.

Elle Graham as Nancy

Nancy Wheeler. Anyone who read Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret knows all about Nancy Wheeler. A privileged girl with a pool of her own who knows how to make a new girl like Margaret feel a bit worthless. Plus she reportedly has that older boyfriend who everyone is meant to find impressive. Young Elle Graham (Stranger Things, Secrets of Sulphur Springs, The Walking Dead) has her work cut out for her if she hopes to get us to like Nancy Wheeler. It’s been 50 years and it hasn’t happened yet.

Amari Alexis Price as Janie

Are You There God It's Me Margaret/Instagram

Who among us has not identified with Janie, the last member of the Pre-Teen Sensations to get her period? Sure, now that we all know what getting your period entails we know that she was pretty lucky. But back then... things were difficult for the Janies of the world. Amari Alexis Price has the lucky role of Janie, Margaret’s new best friend and one of the most relatable characters in literature. And she’s a newcomer, which is extra impressive.

Katherine Mallen Kupferer as Gretchen

Katherine Mallen Kupferer first got her start on stage, in the Chicago Shakespeare Theater's acclaimed production of Gypsy. Since then she has gone on to enjoy parts in movies like Widows and Fools, but no part has yet been like Gretchen Potter in Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret. Gretchen holds the illustrious position of being the first in the Pre-Teen Sensations to get her period, which gives her the chance to show Nancy up apparently.

Kate MacCluggage as Jan Wheeler

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Nancy Wheeler’s mom Jan doesn’t make much of an entrance in the book version of Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret. We can only assume that she didn’t really know what her crabby daughter was up to at school. But the fact that a recognizable actress like Kate MacCluggage (Madam Secretary, The First Lady) has been tapped to play Jan Wheeler seems to point to a bigger role. Personally, I’m hoping she and Barbara become friends.

When Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret comes out in theaters on April 28, it’s going to be difficult to separate the memories we all have of reading the book with seeing the movie. But we will be in good hands with this excellent cast. If Judy Blume can trust them, so can we.