Netflix has opened the door for the disabled by casting a blind actress in its limited-series adaptation of Anthony Doerr’s novel All The Light We Cannot See. Newcomer Aria Mia Loberti will play the role of Marie-Laure.
The Wrap reports that Loberti’s character is a blind teenager who crosses paths with a German soldier as they both try to survive the devastation of World War II in occupied France. Netflix says that despite having no formal acting training, Loberti beat out thousands of submissions to play this character. This will be the PhD student’s first acting role. Shawn Levy will serve as director and executive producer, and screenwriter Steven Knight will take charge of adapting the source material. Loberti is the only confirmed cast member.
Netflix’s four-part adaptation of All The Light We Cannot See was greenlit in September. Netflix expressed an interest in hiring a blind actress to play the role, opening the door for more opportunities for disabled actors. While we have seen disabled actors such as RJ Mitte (Breaking Bad) and Marlee Matlin (Children of a Lesser God) take on characters with their conditions to much acclaim, more often than not this isn’t the case, and that has led to controversy. For example, CBS received backlash for hiring a non-deaf actor as a deaf character in their adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand.
All The Light We Cannot See was published in 2014 to critical acclaim. It spent 200 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list and it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction in 2015.
We want to hear from you? Have you read All The Light We Cannot See? Are you looking forward to Netflix’s adaptation? Are you happy to see a blind actress like Aria Mia Loberti taking on a lead role? Let us know in the comments.