Rachel McAdams and the forged and crew replicate on why it was necessary to maintain Judy Blume's traditional 'Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret' timeless on the massive display

  • Judy Blume’s traditional “Are You There God? It is Me, Margaret” has lastly been tailored for the display.
  • Rachel McAdams, who performs Margaret’s mother, informed Insider she associated to Margaret as a preteen herself.
  • Author-director Kelly Fremon Craig saved it set within the ’70s as a result of it is “neat” to attach generations.

Generations of younger girls who went via puberty grew up chanting, “I have to, I have to, I have to enhance my bust!” due to Judy Blume’s traditional chapter e-book, “Are You There God? It is Me, Margaret.” The story follows sixth-grader Margaret Simon on her quest to start out puberty, all whereas coping with the upheaval of her household’s sudden transfer from Manhattan to the New Jersey suburbs and making an attempt to suss out her spiritual identification on the similar time.

The e-book was initially printed in 1970 however is barely loosely tied to the last decade. The long-awaited big-screen adaptation of the story, helmed by writer-director Kelly Fremon Craig and launched in theaters nationwide at present, may’ve simply been transplanted to a modern-day setting. 

However in interviews with Insider, Fremon Craig and stars Rachel McAdams and Abby Ryder Fortson made a sound case for why the film is best off staying set within the ’70s and the way it stays timeless both method.

McAdams, who performs Margaret’s mother within the movie, informed Insider she associated to the preteen protagonist

Rachel McAdams and Abby Ryder Fortson.

Rachel McAdams and Abby Ryder Fortson in “Are You There God? It is Me, Margaret.”

Dana Hawley/Lionsgate



McAdams performs Margaret’s free-spirited artist mom Barbara Simon within the movie however informed Insider that, like many younger girls, she remembers her tween years being similar to Margaret’s. 

The Oscar-nominated actress recalled a number of of her personal childhood reminiscences that mirrored the character’s experiences, like carrying footwear she hadn’t damaged in on the primary day of college and “coming residence with blisters and never with the ability to put on those self same footwear for the following month.” 

Within the e-book and within the movie, Margaret additionally begs her mom to take her to the mall to purchase a bra so she will be able to slot in along with her new good friend group. McAdams mentioned she had a equally “awkward” preteen expertise — and very similar to Margaret, she will be able to solely recognize her mother’s assist in retrospect. 

“I am grateful that my mother was there and took me via that. However on the time, I wasn’t,” she mentioned. 

For McAdams, the movie was necessary to make and hold timeless as a result of Margaret’s journey was “precisely the identical” for thus many individuals in so many generations, and seeing that wrestle represented helps younger folks really feel “not so alone.” 

Fortson, the standout younger star who performs Margaret, informed Insider in a joint interview with McAdams that she was going via the “very same stuff” because the character at “the very same time” she was on set and creating the character.

{The teenager}, who producer James L. Brooks informed Insider beat out “actually hundreds of children” auditioned to win the half, mentioned that, like Margaret, she’s nonetheless making an attempt to outline who she is “each single day.” 

“I am 15, and I do know people who find themselves 80 and nonetheless figuring themselves out,” she mused, capturing the essence of why “Are You There, God?” has such a robust legacy.

Author-director Kelly Fremon Craig saved the film set within the ’70s to ensure each lady watching felt ‘related’ to Margaret’s journey

Screenplay writer Kelly Fremon Craig.

Kelly Fremon Craig wrote and directed “Are You There God? It is Me, Margaret.”

Jason Koerner/Getty Photographs for Lionsgate



Fremon Craig isn’t any stranger to coming-of-age tales that push boundaries — her debut characteristic movie as a director (which she additionally wrote) was 2016’s “The Fringe of Seventeen,” starring Hailee Steinfeld.

Nonetheless, she referred to as it “surreal” to be adapting a e-book she loves a lot. Fremon Craig famously received the film rights by writing an impassioned e mail to Blume, who’d refused any diversifications of it for many years, and the screenwriter informed Insider she actually felt the strain to get the highly-anticipated adaptation proper — for Blume, for Blume’s followers, and for herself.

As a longtime fan of Blume’s e-book, Fremon Craig determined she ought to keep “trustworthy” to the unique story with out giving it a 2023 replace in an effort to greatest seize the spirit and feeling of the beloved traditional.

“I can so vividly keep in mind my 11-year-old self doing, ‘I have to enhance my bust,’” she mentioned. So, she saved in refined references to the ’70s, whereas additionally leaning into the timelessness of the subject material.

“I feel that there is one thing actually neat about ladies at present going to observe this film and realizing that every part they are going via, ladies went via 50 years in the past. Their mother went via it, their grandma went via it,” she mentioned. “All girls all through historical past.”

“Are You There God? It is Me, Margaret” is in theaters now.


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