Deric McCabe who plays Charles Wallace in Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time sat down with Screen Rant to discuss his experience on the film. As a young actor with few credits to his name, several experiences on set were firsts for him. He talks about his experiences with his cast mates, advice he got from director Ava DuVerny, and his favorite set from the film.
Screen Rant: So Deric, how did you, preparing for your role in Wrinkle In Time, did you read the book?
Deric McCabe: I'm reading it right now but I didn’t read it before cause I didn't know it was a book. Ava was like, ‘Oh, it’s also a book’ and I was like ‘It is, it’s a book?’ And she’s like ‘Yeah, you should read it.’ And I’m in the book.
Screen Rant: You are.
Deric McCabe: And I’m like ‘Oh that’s cool, it is a book.’
Screen Rant: So yeah and you know it's not just one book, your character goes on this other journey, so I hope you end up reading a lot of those too. Who was the most fun on set?
Deric McCabe: The most fun was Levi, he plays Calvin, because he was so sarcastic and he told everybody these things, that you’d not believe usually, but then when he said it, since he’s an actor, he says it with a straight face, so it’s kinda hard to actually believe that it’s not true, so yeah.
Screen Rant: Right, now you obviously work with, in this film, with a lot of great actors, was there any bit of advice that you got from anybody that you can kind of take with you going forward?
Deric McCabe: Well, I got one from Oprah, at the end of shooting, Ava the director, said ‘cut’ and that’s the last time she said ‘cut’ and Oprah said there’s more to come, and I’m like ‘What? Nooo, I want to keep working on this, it was fun.’ But she said there was more to come, so like, next time I do a movie and it ends, there’s more to come.
Screen Rant: There is more to come, there's definitely more to come, and you, I mean you’re a stand out, every single time I see you on screen I have like the biggest smile on my face, you steal like every scene, you're amazing in this movie. With the advice that you were given from Oprah and the lessons you learned on set, what are some of the . . . from your experience on this film, what’s something that you're going to take from it and probably apply it to your next acting role or just everyday life?
Deric McCabe: Ava said every time that you do a role, you have to sprinkle a little bit of yourself on it. So like, Ok, I’m going to sprinkle myself on sassy Charles Wallace.
Screen Rant: So, how close are you to Charles Wallace? How close, are you, is Derek that character?
Deric McCabe:Well that character’s a genius and when Ava told me that he was gonna be big and mean and dark, I was like ‘Can I do that?’ So, it was kinda hard to go from, every time I was nice, she would call me sweetest boy in the world, so it was kinda hard to go from ‘sweetest boy in the world’ to ‘darkest mind in the universe.’
Screen Rant: You did such a convincing job that my heart started breaking, you did such an amazing job. Now your – Charles, Charles Wallace is a very special kid with extraordinary powers, what was it like to have these kind of like . . . like a super power kind of . . . with your character?
Deric McCabe: Well when I'm alone, I just pretend to have super powers, so I was like ‘oh my gosh I have super powers in this’ so it was really amazing to have super powers.
Screen Rant: It is and you do a great job at it. Your character is extremely intelligent How did you want to show that to the audience?
Deric McCabe: Half the time when I was saying my lines, I didn’t know what I was talking about, so every time Ava would explain it to me I’d be like ‘so I need to show the audience that that’s what I'm talking about, so I was like. . . ‘ok.’ So, talking about rocket science and I have to show them I’m talking about rocket science, ok, so, yeah.
Screen Rant: So, this is kind of crazy because you must be, I mean, I'm sure, I mean you're still very young and Disney is a huge part of like everyone's life, right? So when you first projects is to be in a Disney film, how does that feel?
Deric McCabe: It felt amazing cause when you're doing this movie and everybody sees it, they’re going to come up to you and be like ‘hey you’re in that Disney Movie.’ And I’m like ‘Yeah! So it's amazing to be in my first movie is gonna be Disney.
Screen Rant: Absolutely. Now what does A Wrinkle in Time mean to you?
Deric McCabe: It's an adventure to an imperfect girl who doesn't have any confidence within her and she comes back as someone that is confident and she killed the darkness, so I think it means that the good inside of you can always overpower the darkness.
Screen Rant: You're absolutely right that's, that's a great answer. Let's see, so you haven't finished reading the book, correct?
Deric McCabe: No.
Screen Rant: But you plan on reading these, the things that come after?
Deric MsCabe: Yeah.
Screen Rant: Awesome. Let’s see, what did you learn from your experience on set, of being an actor.
Deric McCabe: I learned that when you’re on set, there are green screens behind you and they do clean shots, so when they didn’t get a shot that they wanted, they put you on the green screen or blue screen or whatever, and take that clean shot and put it behind you, so then it looks like you're like you're actually there.
Screen Rant: Absolutely. Now, did you know all the other actors, did you know who was going to be in this film before you joined them?
Deric McCabe: Well, when I got this role, my parents were like ‘you’re going to work with Oprah Winfrey!’ and I'm like ‘oh my gosh . . . who is she and what does she do?’ so I didn't really, I knew they were going to do it, but I didn't know who they were.
Screen Rant: So, what was the most, like fun set you were on?
Deric McCabe: I really liked the Happy Medium, his cave.
Screen Rant: Me too.
Deric McCabe: Cause there were all these crystals around you and there was one point where I was trying to get one, but Reese Witherspoon put me on a little teeter thing and I got to stand on one of those so I think it was really amazing.
Screen Rant: How was that, standing on that? Like, was it really imbalanced, did you have to learn how to do that?
Deric McCabe: Well, I was on a harness.
Screen Rant: OK.
Deric McCabe: So they had these machines where they’d tip’em. And it just looks like it’s going *makes woop noise* and I was like ‘how did you get that machine to work?’ and they were like, you don’t have to worry about it, just balance on the thing, and I was like ‘ok.”
Screen Rant: So, what was the most fun scene to shoot for you?
Deric McCabe: I liked the hallway, where I’m dragging my parents and my dad and my sister and Levi down that hallway, cause it came the easiest to me, I don’t know why but dragging them all down the hallway came easy, which is, I know it’s kinda weird, but . . . it was really fun.
Screen Rant: So I'm going to guess that the most challenging thing, which you kind of talked about, was the balancing the good and the bad when you do that thing with Michael Pena. How was that? Like, it was pretty intense and you do get really like into it and I, I almost, like, you know, it's crazy because you're this, you're adorable, but I was like ‘man, you're also so menacing in that.’ So how was that getting into that mindset for you?
Deric McCabe: Well, we shot the beach scene, days like weeks after that mean scene. . .
Screen Rant: Oh really?
Deric McCabe: where I’m transforming so, I was like, I can be mean, and then I’m transforming to mean, so I was like ‘that’s kinda weird, but I think I can do it.’ Like transforming to mean was just, twice five is one, twice two is . . . *doing math*
Screen Rant: *Laughing*
Deric McCabe: My math isn’t making sense . .
Screen Rant: I'm not going to make you do math, you don’t have to do math. But yeah, I know, because now you're confusing me and two to the. . . . no I don’t want to get into it either. we're not going to do that. Ok, so, I'm going to say a name of one of your fellow actors and tell me what the first thing that comes your head when I say them, alright?
Screen Rant: Ready?
Deric McCabe: Yeah.
Screen Rant: Oprah.
Deric McCabe: Wise.
Screen Rant: Wise? OK, Storm.
Deric McCabe: . . . Artistic . . . Yeah.
Screen Rant : Chris.
Deric McCabe : Friendly.
Screen Rant : Gugu.
Deric McCabe: Mom.
Screen Rant: Reese.
Deric McCabe: Amazing.
Screen Rant: Zach.
Deric McCabe: Funny.
Screen Rant: And Mindy.
Deric McCabe: Um . . . COSTUME!! Great Costume!
Screen Rant: And Levi.
Deric McCabe: Sarcastic.
Screen Rant: Awesome. Well you did an amazing job, I want to say thank you so much, you did a wonderful job, I love this film.