There are so many reasons to see the upcoming fantasy film A Wrinkle In Time, which is based on the 1962 book by Madeleine L'Engle. Directed by Ava DuVernay, the movie has made headlines for its all-star, diverse, and women-led cast, which includes Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, and Storm Reid. I've been paying so much attention to all the fabulous women in A Wrinkle In Time that I honestly didn't know until this week that Zach Galifianakis was also starring in it. And as it turns out, he's super passionate about the film and about the example it could set for boys. At a recent press conference promoting the film, both Galifianakis and DuVernay opened up about why they think young boys should see A Wrinkle In Time.
Because the film is led by so many awesome women, tons of diverse women and girls are undoubtedly excited to see it. But during a press conference for the movie at Hollywood's W Hotel, Galifianakis and DuVernay shined a light on how A Wrinkle In Time could also have a positive effect on young men and boys, as reported by Den of Geek.
They think it's important for boys to see the atypical depictions of men, which are on display in the film. For example, Galifianakis plays The Happy Medium in the film; in the book, the Happy Medium is a woman. Additionally, the character of Calvin, played by Levi Miller, is a teenage boy who is perfectly comfortable letting women take the lead, Den of Geek reported.
Galifianakis said at the press conference, according to Den of Geek.
It's nice for young boys and young men to see that it’s OK to have a sensitive side. That [vulnerability] means they’re stronger to me. I wish we could change that. I come from a very masculine upbringing, and a lot of people do, and I'm very happy with… I love the way I was raised, but looking back… We need balance. It's time for balance. I think that's what the Happy Medium is about.
DuVernay agreed, applauding him for recognizing the movie's strong portrayal of men. "We talk a lot about girls seeing the film, but [Zach] was the first person to say, 'This is something for boys, too. Boys need to be able to see themselves as vulnerable and themselves being able to follow a girl and not always having to be macho,'" DuVernay added at the press conference, as per Den of Geek.
Levi Miller, 15, stars as Calvin — and he appears to agree that the movie is combatting the harmful stereotypes that say men must appear traditionally masculine and unemotional. At the press conference, Miller criticized society's prevalent issue of toxic masculinity, according to Free Malaysia Today. Toxic masculinity is the idea that social constructs demand that men continually prove that they are real men, as defined by Salon.
"I think when you're a stand-up comic, you have a… not a chip on your shoulder, but that's where you come from and to be involved in such a big, big movie like this, it makes me… I feel real proud," Galifianakis added at the press conference. "I can't really talk about it without getting emotional. When I first met Ava, there was something about her that made me… I don't know what it was, emotional."
Not only does Galifianakis play a character who's unafraid to show emotion in A Wrinkle In Time, but he himself also feels emotional about the experience. Both of these things help combat toxic masculinity, and he is setting an example for boys and young men that it's OK to have emotions, to not be traditionally masculine, and to trust women as leaders.
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