Casting My Brilliant Friend’s Authentic Stardom


  • Dana Renga The Ohio State University



Casting, Television, My Brilliant Friend, Nonprofessional performers, Authenticity


Using the The HBO/Rai co-production My Brilliant Friend as a case study, this essay addresses the understudied arena of casting, particularly in relation to the creation of the “authentic stardom” of the child and adolescent nonprofessional performers.  Drawing from personal interviews with Laura Muccino and Sara Casani, two of Italian television’s most important casting directors, excerpts of which are included throughout the essay, I consider the gendered practices of casting in relation to Muccino and Casani’s epic search for the four nonprofessional child and adolescent girl performers who made the characters from the novel come to life. I focus on the casting and reception of the child and adolescent female actors in the series. In particular, this essay engages with performances of adolescence as these performances relate to the productions’ desire to represent an authentic experience of youth in postwar Italy that is exported to transnational audiences. 


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How to Cite

Renga, D. (2020). Casting My Brilliant Friend’s Authentic Stardom. Series - International Journal of TV Serial Narratives, 6(1), 77–90.



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