The first official images have been released as production is underway in Caserta, Italy on the eight-episode HBO, Rai Fiction and Timvision series My Brilliant Friend. Based on Elena Ferrante’s bestselling book of the same name, which is the first of her four-part series published in the U.S. by Europa Editions, the show is being directed by Saverio Costanzo (Private, The Solitude of Prime Numbers, Hungry Hearts).
Casting for the series took place over a period of eight months, with almost 9,000 children and 500 adults from all over Campania auditioning. The casting process included professional and non-professional actors, as well as students recruited from local schools. Newcomers Elisa Del Genio and Ludovica Nasti were chosen to portray the two lead roles of Elena and Lila as young children.
As production on the series progresses, these young actresses have given way to two teenage actresses, namely Margherita Mazzucco as teenager Elena and Gaia Girace as teenager Lila.
In total, My Brillliant Friend is expected to include a cast of more than 150 actors and 5,000 extras.
The production’s construction team of 150 crew members has created 215,000 square feet of sets, which were built over 100 days. To recreate the neighborhood, the symbolic location of the story, they built 14 exterior apartment buildings, five interior sets of apartments, a church and a tunnel. The costume department is gathering 1,500 costumes, many of which are original creations.