Maple Ridge native Crystal Lowe plays the bully’s mother in Wonder, now playing in movie theatres across the country. (Contributed)

Maple Ridge actress lands role in Wonder

Crystal Lowe plays bully’s mother, says movie brings perspective and empathy to topic of bullying

Crystal Lowe doesn’t enjoy playing the villain.

But when she landed a roll in the movie Wonder she knew it was a movie she wanted to be a part of, even if she had to play the person that nobody liked.

The Maple Ridge native plays the part of Julian’s mother who is the main bully in the movie.

Wonder is based on the New York Times bestselling novel of the same title and it tells the story of a boy named August Pullman who has facial differences and goes to school for the first time in Grade 5.

The movie stars Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson and Jacob Tremblay.

“The great thing about Wonder is you really get to see (bullying) from everybody’s perspective. And I think that’s what we are lacking you know in the world today,” said Lowe from her home in California.

“I think that’s the beauty of what Wonder brings. It bring perspective and empathy and trying to understand (bullying) from other people’s point of view and why they come from those places and what makes them behave the way they do,” she said.

Lowe moved to Los Angeles only a month ago, even though, she said, the move actually makes it more difficult for her working in the industry than if she stayed put in Vancouver.

“This is where a lot of the big productions get made and because I am venturing into producing and directing, I just have to be here for a little while. Make the rounds here,” said the actress.

Lowe started out as a child actor when she was about 4-years-old but her mother pulled her out of it because she felt it was too competitive between the parents. She told her daughter that as soon as she could drive herself to auditions then she would have her permission to enter the industry again. So, as soon as Lowe turned 16 she told her mom she was going back. She contacted Tyler Labine, another actor from Maple Ridge, and his mother hooked her up with an agent and became her temporary stage mom and manager.

Now the actress has 78 films under her belt and counting.

Currently she is working on another series called Signed, Sealed, Delivered, for the Hallmark Channel.

“It’s with the creator of Touched By An Angel and it’s been going on for four years,” Lowe explained.

“I just want to be a part of things that are uplifting and our show is very uplifting. We need it,” she said.

Lowe believes the world needs more movies like Wonder.

“The world is a strange, crazy place right now and I think we desperately need films like this. While I don’t think all hope is lost for adults, I really really want to invest in the children,” said Lowe.

“They are going to come with an open heart. And, the majority of them, if we can speak to them now before the world kind of gets to be that scary and teach them how to have an open heart, then that can change a whole generation,” Lowe noted.

Lowe likes the fact that the character that she plays is not the most likeable character in the movie.

“You understand Julian a little more when you meet his parents,” she said, adding that Julian’s mom doesn’t necessarily think she is a villain, she is just protecting her own son.

“No mother thinks that they’re a villain. They think that they are protecting their son at all costs and I think that’s the issue we need to address,” said Lowe.

“We only see other people as bad guys or good guys or bullies or not bullies. We have no idea where they are coming from and why,” she continued.

If we want bullying to stop, says Lowe, we have to spend time with our children. And, she added, if we want the dialogue to remain open then movies like Wonder are the ones we must take our children to, and have a discussion afterward.

“I remember being a kid. I hated telling my parents stuff. But if it was in casual conversation because it was in a movie and we were talking about the movie and not necessarily my personal experience, I would have talked to my parents more because I wouldn’t think it would feel like so much pressure,” she said.

Having a conversation about what is right and what is wrong is the beauty of Wonder.

“This movie offers that to parents and kids which is amazing.”

Wonder is currently showing at Cineplex Odeon Meadowtown Cinemas, 19800 Lougheed Hwy, Pitt Meadows, in the Meadowtown Shopping Centre.

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