It's not often that a star-studded Netflix project is helmed by a complete newcomer to the world of acting, but All the Light We Cannot See is doing just that with its casting of its lead actress.


Starring as Marie-Laure LeBlanc in the new four-part adaptation series from Shawn Levy and Steven Knight, Aria Mia Loberti leads the cast as the blind French teenager who has to flee Paris with her father and ends up in the coastal city of Saint-Malo.

Marie's story collides with young German soldier Werner (Louis Hofman) as they both have listened to a particular radio station throughout their lives, with it bringing hope in the darkest of times.

The Netflix series is based on the Anthony Doerr bestselling novel of the same name, but when it came to casting the main actress, there was a global search for the role.

Speaking in a Netflix featurette about Loberti's journey to being cast as Marie, Levy revealed: "I wanted to cast Marie with a blind young woman. To have Marie played by someone who understands what it is like to walk that road. That is valuable detail and nuance that impacts and informs every frame of this series.

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"Thus began a global casting search. We got thousands of videos, one of them is a unicorn of a discovery: She's never auditioned, she's never thought about being an actress, she's an academic."

So who is the lead actress? Read on for everything you need to know about Aria Mia Loberti.

Who is Aria Mia Loberti?

Aria Mia Loberti as Marie-Laure in All the Light We Cannot See.
Aria Mia Loberti as Marie-Laure in All the Light We Cannot See. Atsushi Nishijima/Netflix

Age: 29/30

Instagram: @ariamialoberti

Prior to landing her first role in All the Light We Cannot See, Loberti was in academia, having attended the University of Rhode Island, Royal Holloway, on a Fullbright scholarship. She began her doctoral studies at Pennsylvania State University.

Although Loberti puts on an English accent for the role of Marie in All the Light We Cannot See, she is American and was born and raised in Johnston, Rhode Island.

Loberti was born with a severe form of the rare genetic eye condition achromatopsia. Because of this, she is completely blind in some environments and has minimal residual vision in others, which can often vary. She is colour blind and particularly sensitive to light.

As Levy has revealed, Loberti was never considering being an actress but says she got a text from her former orientational mobility teacher with details of the All the Light We Cannot See casting call. Although she had never thought of being an actress, Loberti admits: "When the casting call went out, I was at a place where I had everything I had dreamed of and worked toward academically.

"Ever since I was a little kid, I had to fight for my education and here I was, back from England after getting my Fulbright with a place in a Ph.D. program. But I wasn’t overwhelmingly happy."

She said: "I didn’t expect to find the career I felt like I was supposed to be doing my whole life. I never allowed myself to dream about acting when I was little. It was something I wanted to do, but couldn’t dream about."

What has Aria Mia Loberti previously starred in?

As All the Light We Cannot See is Loberti's first role, there is nothing else the actress has starred in yet. But we imagine it won't be long before we see Loberti on our screens again in something else.

Since her casting announcement, Loberti has been named as the new ambassador for French beauty brand L'Occitane en Provence.

Who is Aria Mia Loberti playing in All the Light We Cannot See?

Aria Mia Loberti as Marie-Laure in All The Light We Cannot See holding a microphone and sat at a desk.
Aria Mia Loberti as Marie-Laure in All The Light We Cannot See. Katalin Vermes/Netflix

Loberti leads the cast as Marie-Laure LeBlanc, a blind French teenager who has to flee her home of Paris with her father once the Nazis come in to overtake the French capital.

Since a young age, her father has helped to instil her with the confidence and independence needed to navigate the world, never highlighting her disability as something that should get in the way of her life.

Within the four-part series, we follow Marie as her and her father strive to keep a precious diamond out of the reach of the Nazis but also, as she uses radio as a means of communication, resistance and hope.

She ultimately crosses paths with an unlikely source of hope: Werner, who has been drafted in to Hitler's regime because of his unparalleled knowledge of radios and airwaves.

What has Aria Mia Loberti said about All the Light We Cannot See?

Speaking about her role in All the Light We Cannot See, Loberti hopes that the series will smash certain stereotypes around blindness and blind people.

She told Netflix: "I hope people will come to truly understand that this is a representation of a way someone lives their life that is not by choice, but by circumstance. And by placing someone in a role authentically ensures that when you’re telling these stories, you’re doing so through a lens of truth."

She continued: "This story isn’t about being blind — it’s about humanity coming together in a time of hardship. Blindness is the last thing on Marie-Laure’s mind and it’s probably the least relevant part of her identity, but it is the way she explores and feels the world around her.

"So, I hope people will start asking questions when they want to include a character with a disability or any character from a marginalised community. Why do you want to tell the story? And if you’re not doing so authentically, what makes you drawn to that story in the first place? Why do you want to send that message?

"I think it’s so important for young people to be able to say, 'I can be the hero of my own story. I can tell my own story. I don’t have to have other people presenting a facsimile of me. I can be authentic and true, and I’m worthy of that. I’m worthy of having my own voice.'"

All the Light We Cannot See will premiere on Netflix on Thursday 2nd November 2023. Sign up for Netflix from £4.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is available to buy now.

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