February 28, 2018 05:43 PM

Oprah Winfrey is excited to be part of a revolutionary movie.

The mogul, 64, stars in Ava DuVernay‘s Disney adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time — a groundbreaking movie featuring a diverse cast and a young African-American female lead in 14-year-old Storm Reid.

“Working on Wrinkle in Time was one of the best experiences of my career,” she tells PEOPLE in the latest cover story. “I love Ava’s vision that this is a film about young women, people who are willing to step up and be warriors.”

The inspirational message of the film, out March 9, also extends to an optimistic hope for the world in the midst of turmoil. Winfrey says she reflected on this while filming thanks to her character’s timely dialogue.

“My character actually says the words, ‘The darkness is spreading so fast these days. The only thing faster than light is the darkness,’ ” she says. “When I said that, I was thinking about all of the protesting going on all over the world. I had images in my head of specific violent acts being committed against groups of people.”

Oprah Winfrey as Mrs. Which
Atsushi Nishijima/© 2017 Disney

Winfrey stars as Mrs. Which, a celestial being who helps Reid’s Meg on a intergalactic quest to find her father and helps her gain the confidence to fight the forces of evil. Costars Reese Witherspoon (Mrs. Whatsit) and Mindy Kaling (Mrs. Who) play her quirky compatriots.

Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

Watch People Cover Story: Oprah Winfrey, available now, on PeopleTV.  Go to PeopleTV.com, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite mobile or connected TV device. And look for PEOPLE’s new special edition, The Complete Guide to ‘A Wrinkle in Time,’ with exclusive photos and interviews with all the stars, available March 2 wherever magazines are sold.

The cover of PEOPLE's special issue The Complete Guide to 'A Wrinkle in Time'

Winfrey is ready to be recognized for something totally different by the youngest moviegoers.

“I understand for sure that there will be generations of children who will see this movie and will never know that I had a talk show and I had a whole other life,” she says. “That for generations of children, now I will be Mrs. Which. That’s fun.”

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