Mindy Kaling joins Meryl Streep, Ryan Reynolds and Lupita Nyong’o to read from the Roald Dahl book about a magical peach.
If your soul needs a little soothing today, may we direct you to Mindy Kaling reading from James and the Giant Peach; the comforting content we probably all need.
The actor and writer joins a star-studded line-up that includes HRH the Duchess of Cornwall, Meryl Streep, Lupita Nyong’o, Chris and Liam Hemsworth, Ryan Reynolds, Billy Porter and Cynthia Erivo. They have come together (virtually) thanks to director Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok, Jojo Rabbit) to raise money for global non-profit Partners In Health (who were one of the recipients when Rihanna recently donated $5million to aid Covid- 19 relief.)
Mindy Kaling - who it was recently revealed is writing the screenplay of Legally Blonde 3 - plays Miss Spider. And in the role she recounts the story of the harrowing time her grandmother got stuck in some paint at the hands of evil Aunt Spiker. “The last time she painted her kitchen ceiling my poor darling grandmother stepped into it by mistake when it was still wet, and there she stuck. And all through the night we could hear her calling to us, saying “Help! help! help!” and it was heart-breaking to listen to her. …Believe it or not, she lived for six months like that, upside down on the ceiling with her legs stuck permanently in the paint.”
Despite reading from home – in a rather lovely stripy chair we can’t help but note– Kaling happily gets into the spirit of the sad spider, skilfully delivering the line: “You’re pretty obnoxious but I do feel sorry for you.”
Watch the exclusive clip here…
The book by Roald Dahl tells the story of James, a young boy whose parents are killed by a rhinoceros so he’s forced to live with his two bullying aunts – Spiker and Sponge. He eventually escapes thanks to a magical giant peach. Though it was written in 1961 the tale has particular relevance right now. “Being an adult child myself and having read James and the Giant Peach to my girls multiple times, I’m excited to be able to partner with my friends, the Dahl team and Partners In Health and re-tell this story to help those most in need right now,” says Waititi. “This wacky, wonderful tale is about resilience in children, triumph over adversity and dealing with a sense of isolation which couldn’t been more relevant today.” As such the Roald Dahl Story Company and partners will be matching every donation given.
Dahl fans will be excited to know that Waititi is also creating two original animated series for Netflix, one based on the characters of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and one about the Oompa-Loompas. And later this year another Dahl favourite will be bought to life in the adaptation of The Witches. Starring Anne Hathaway and Octavia Spencer it centres on a young boy who tries to stop a coven of witches turning the children of the UK into mice.
Watch episode eight of James and the Giant Peach on YouTube at 6pm on 1 June.
Images: The Roald Dahl Story Company Limited, Getty