Manila Bulletin

Filipino child actor in Disney’s ‘A Wrinkle In Time’


LOS ANGELES – Don’t look now but Disney’s next big star could be FilAm child actor, Deric McCabe.

Portraying Charles Wallace Murry in the Ava DuVernay-helmed fantasy film “A Wrinkle In Time,” the precocious and smart nine-year-old can hold himself on-screen and off-screen, thank you. He is eloquent, confident, charming, fun, and sassy.

We talked to director Ava and she told us how she discovered the talented child actor and why she decided to get him for the part.

“We did a worldwide search for Charles Wallace,” she said. “You needed a boy who was six years old and could be a sweet boy at the top, and turn into the bad seed and evil at the end. And all over the world, we had 19 local casting directors, all reporting to Aisha Coley, my main casting director. Any place where people spoke English we looked. We ended up finding him in Burbank. He lived by the Ikea, three minutes from Disney.

“This kid came in. You see him in the movie, he is something else. He really is a find. So the fact that he was a FilipinoAm­erican boy, first Disney was like, how is this going to fit in? I said, I really want him in the family, this is the boy. So let’s expand the boundaries even more and figure out how he could be in this family. So we started to play with the idea of can we make this family not only interracia­l, but also can they be a regular family with an adopted boy? It made it even more emotional when Meg says I will not leave my brother. Two different journalist­s today came up to me and said that they burst into tears there because they were adopted and to have someone fight for them in the family like they were blood, really was moving to them. That is how I found Deric.”

She finds Deric “mischievou­s,” “sweet” and “full of energy.” The movie, written by Jennifer Lee and Jeff Stockwell, is based on the 1962 award-winning novel of Madeleine L’Engle of the same title. It tells the story of Meg (Storm Reid) who tried to search for her scientist father, Mr. Murry (Chris Pine) after he disappeare­d with the help of her brother Charles Wallace (Deric) and her friend Calvin (Levi Miller). Strangely and out of nowhere, three peculiar beings — Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoo­n) and Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) — send the three kids to space in order to find him.

Turning 10 on Aug. 28, Deric was born in Whitefish, Montana and has a Filipina mom named Judith. The family moved to Los Angeles, California when he was barely a year old. He has an older sister named Jadie and a two-year-old brother. The family now lives in Burbank. He was also seen in the movies “Stephanie,” a horror supernatur­al film where he portrayed Moppet and “Hold On,” a drama where he portrayed Paul Duran.

In an exclusive interview with Deric, we learned that he hasn’t been to the Philippine­s yet and he looks forward to going there one of these days with his family.

In his usual chirpy tone, he said, “I have not yet gone to the Philippine­s but I heard that everything is better in the Philippine­s. Just like what the billboards say, ‘It is more fun in the Philippine­s!’”

“My mom always tells me it is beautiful and amazing there so I hope to visit one of these days,” he added.

Below are excerpts of our chat:

What are your favorite Filipino food?

“I love everything. My grandma, Granny Edith, my mom’s mother, cooks all those delicious Filipino food and I love all of them!”

Do you know any Tagalog word?

“No, I don’t.”

What was the reaction of your friends in school when you told them you are in a Disney movie?

“They didn’t believe me at first. But when they saw the trailer of ‘A Wrinkle In Time,’ they believed me.”

How was your audition for ‘A Wrinkle In Time’?

“I had five auditions. When I read my lines on the third audition, Ava, the director, was already in the room.”

How was it working with Ava?

“She is amazing. She always asks me if I had lunch E-3 already. She

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 ??  ?? DERIC MCCABE (Photos courtesy of Walt Disney Studios)
DERIC MCCABE (Photos courtesy of Walt Disney Studios)
 ??  ?? DERIC WITH his mom Judith McCabe(Photo by Sthanlee B. Mirador)
DERIC WITH his mom Judith McCabe(Photo by Sthanlee B. Mirador)
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