Following a global search, the upcoming CBC/Netflix reboot of “Anne of Green Gables” has found its Anne, casting 14-year-old Irish-Canadian actress Amybeth McNulty, who reportedly beat out more than 1,800 girls who auditioned in the extensive casting call.
“She’s riveting on screen, she’s translucent. You can see every thought and every emotion,” writer/showrunner Moira Walley-Beckett tells CBC News.
McNulty (whose mother is Canadian) auditioned online from her home in Donegal, Ireland, and says she shares a number of traits with the plucky PEI heroine.
“She has so much love for the world, which I think I share with her,” says McNulty. “And her curiosity about everything, how she can be so fierce and so bold but so gentle and so loving.”
Filming the eight-episode series in Prince Edward Island, the young actress tells CBC News, has been an amazing experience.
“First of all, anywhere you turn is a postcard, instantly,” McNulty says. “It’s so gorgeous and the people are amazing, they’re so lovely and welcoming. It was so amazing to shoot there, to think that’s where Anne of Green Gables is, and is so loved.”
Showrunner Walley-Beckett, a former writer on “Breaking Bad”, says we can expect to see a somewhat grittier take on the classic tale than we’ve seen previously.
“This is a very grounded, real version of the story. Life in Prince Edward Island in the late 1800s was a hard, gritty, scrappy life. It was messy, it was covered in red mud,” she says. “The weather, the seasons, it’s all part of our story. It’s not doilies and teacups, it’s life.”
“Anne of Green Gables” is set to premiere on CBC in spring 2017 and will stream on Netflix throughout the rest of the world before eventually landing on Netflix Canada after its run on CBC.