James Corden was nervous about having the cast of "A Wrinkle in Time" join him for Monday night's installment of "The Late Late Show," but it was primarily one person who made him the most nervous: Oprah Winfrey.
Throughout, we learned about Winfrey's hand-carved bathtub and her super power. Then, the cast surprised a movie theater crowd with a live recreation of "A Wrinkle in Time." It was ... much worse than the film, which didn't get much praise from critics or blow up the box office.
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Here are all the highlights:
Oprah Makes Corden Cry
Corden was feeling anxious beforehand about interviewing Winfrey, who'd never done the show before, because he'd seen her interview so many people throughout her career. And if there's one thing Winfrey is very, very good at, it's getting her guests to cry. Even co-star Reese Witherspoon admitted that Winfrey had her in tears within five minutes back in the 2000s simply by talking about books and a former teacher.
"I used to try," Winfrey admitted to Corden. "As an interviewer you wanted that moment where you could have someone open up, be vulnerable enough to actually have an intimate connection and cry. Now I try not go get people to cry."
But Corden insisted, urging her to "unleash the power," and so she did. First, she called out the names of his three children and then shared with him a story. "Once on my show a father said, 'Every father has a dream for his children,'" she said, and already his eyes were welling up. Corden couldn't believe what was happening, even as she went on and he continued to get emotional.
"Oh, you're a joke," he told her, followed by an incredulous, "Who are you?" When she asked him the dream he had in his heart for his children, Corden responded, "I just want them to feel like this every day."
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Winfrey also explained why she doesn't give her partner, Stedman Graham, elaborate gifts anymore after she gave him a Christmas literally incorporating the gifts of the Three Wise Men: gold, frankincense and myhrr. "He didn't really appreciate it to the level that I expected, 'cause I did it myself," she said. "So I decided from now on I'll just make you some cornbread."
It's not just others Winfrey pampers to such extremes, though. Even her co-stars were flummoxed when she said that she had a marble and onyx bathtub that had been hand carved to fit her body. As bathing is her hobby, she explained, she takes it seriously.
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'Wrinkle in Time' Stars Impersonate Each Other
Winfrey revealed another hidden talent during the course of the evening when the cast was talking about Reese Witherspoon taking Mindy Kaling under her wing as a surrogate child. When Witherspoon started explaining how she liked to "helicopter" plan their days off, Winfrey asked if she could take over the story before slipping into an exaggerated impression of Witherspoon.
She sprinkled "y'all" liberally throughout the rapid-fire, very precisely articulated itinerary of a typical day planned by her co-star. Witherspoon then returned the favor with not only a pretty solid impression of Winfrey, but she also had a hilarious take on the manic speech patterns of Kaling. Even Kaling had to admit it was pretty spot on.
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'A Wrinkle in Time' Stars Surprise Moviegoers With Live Stage Play
But the pièce de résistance of the entire evening was when Corden was joined by the stars of "A Wrinkle in Time," including Storm Reid, for a live reenactment of the film put on in front of an unsuspecting audience at a screening of the film.
The short film was done documentary style, so we could get the withering commentary of Corden and his stars as they took a film with a $103 million budget and stripped it down to something your high school might put on ... if your high school had no budget for the arts.
It was unbelievably over the top, but hilariously so, as everyone was game to ham it up on stage with Corden as the auteur director who was more full of his own sense of self-importance than any actual visionary qualities. The production was bad, to say the least, but delightfully so.
"A Wrinkle in Time" is in theaters now, and it's much better than Corden's live production.