Little Women’s Melanie Stone

Family plays a vital role in how a person grows into their adulthood. Sometimes living in a household can influence who you are as a person. Melanie Stone stars in Little Women as Meg and discusses the importance of family.

ATM: How do you value family in terms of its representation in this film?

MS: Family is one of the most important things. It is your support system. I grew up in a family with nine siblings, including myself. We are all very different. You grow up to be different things in life.

ATM: What is the reality of trying to accept change with a mentality of already being adapted to elsewhere?

MS: This is so tough. It is hard when you have a set mindset. How do you tell someone, “Hey wake up, this is how it is.” This person can only wake up to see how it really is. They have to really face their fear or pride. They have to make the decision whether to accept this. Anyone can say they will accept a hardship.

ATM: How can the structure of learning influence someone’s life?

MS: These are deep questions. I love this. We all have different ways of learning. Our first experience of learning things starts in the family. This varies from person to person. What are your parents’ teaching you? What are they helping you learn? It starts with the parents. Whatever they are giving you will ultimately impact the person you grow up to be. This influences the learning tools you give your children and the people around you.

ATM: The March Sisters’ household has their own set of rules and social norms. This is outside of the normal society that greets them at the door. This leads to any household being looked at as a society. Society actually means family. How would you describe their society?

MS: Right. It is so true. I loved how you put the word society in it. It feels like home-school. The March home has their own little world when you step inside. Especially up in the attic. They each have their own corner to built their castle. They build their own dreams. Their mother encourages them to find individuality and go after the things that love. This is an environment that lets you explore what you want to be. You have Jo who wants to be a writer. She wants to do all these things. Amy is the artist. Beth is content to be with her family. This is an ideal environment. It would be fun if everything had an ideal family with support and love.

ATM: When did you get the thought and time to captivate your dreams?

MS: I was very fortunate. I grew up in a household where we were encouraged to be ourselves. I was always in the backyard making an adventure. I was digging holes, making mud pies, and building forts. I had immediately immersed myself in a storytelling world. I did not realize this as a child. I just loved and was obsesses with stories. I thought about how to make a career out of storytelling. This is where my passion laid. I was very resistant in my younger years. I was trying to find a normal job. I thought about what normal job would make me happy. I tried different types of jobs and it just did not work.

ATM: Was it because you were succumbing to what society told you to do?

MS: Absolutely. I definitely felt the pressure. I remember feeling embarrassed telling people I wanted to be an actress or a director. I got this look of “oh really and you want to be a star.” I just wanted to tell stories. I also would get the look of “oh good luck with that honey.” There was a time I tried to conform. I kept it to myself. This is interesting. Beth tries to conform and realizes it is not making her happy. Like why is she doing this? This was the same realization I had. It was like I hit a brick wall. I was not happy. I was not making anyone else happy. I am going to do what I think makes me happy.

ATM: I feel the most daring and daunting question that is asked to young adults is, what are you doing to do after you graduate? Or what do you want to do with your life? These are the years where you just do not know. People should feel comfortable with admitting they do not know. This world puts so much pressure on us and people within this age bracket. How many people at 40 are working their same career they said at 21? Some are not. In your 20s you do not know. 

MS: I 100% agree with this.

ATM: The title of Little Women is a sort of contradiction. The word “little” implies something to be small. Whereas, the word “women” implies females who are older than little girls. What do you think about this parallel?

MS: This is a good question. Like you said the word “little” implies small. Do not underestimate or judge a woman by their cover. Do not make assumptions. This is how it is. You think these girls are one thing and then they grow to be something else. They start off with the notion of little women and grow into larger successful women. You had very great and introspective questions. No one has asked me the questions you have asked me before. I really enjoyed this conversation.