First images of HBO’s My Brilliant Friend released
The first official images from the HBO, Rai Fiction, and TIMVISION series My Brilliant Friend, based on the bestselling book by Elena Ferrante, have been released. My Brilliant Friend is the first of Ferrante’s four-part series published in the U.S. by Europa Editions. The eight-episode series adaptation is being directed by Saverio Costanzo (Private, Hungry Hearts).
My Brilliant Friend tells the story of Elena Greco, a now-elderly woman immersed in a house full of books. When the most important friend in her life seems to have disappeared without a trace, Elena turns on her computer and starts writing the story of their friendship. She met Raffaella Cerullo, whom she has always called Lila, in the first year of primary school in 1950. Set in a dangerous and fascinating Naples, their story goes on to cover more than 60 years of their lives as she tries to describe the mystery of Lila, Elena’s brilliant friend — and in a way — her best friend, and her worst enemy.
Casting for the show 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 teenage actresses Margherita Mazzucco as Elena and Gaia Girace as Lila. In total, My Brilliant 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 originals.
My Brilliant Friend is being produced by Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani for Wildside and by Domenico Procacci for Fandango in co-production with Umedia Production. All episodes will be directed by Costanzo, with story and screenplays by Elena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci, and Costanzo. Jennifer Schuur is the executive producer. FremantleMedia International will act as the international distributor.
Production is currently underway in Caserta, Italy.