The 'My Brilliant Friend' Cast Is Just What You Hoped If You Loved The Elena Ferrante Novels

Eduardo Castaldo/HBO

HBO is diving into the foreign-language original series realm with My Brilliant Friend, a coming of age story about two girls growing up in 1950s Naples. The show is based on Italian novelist Elena Ferrante’s book of the same name, which is the first quarter of her famed Neapolitan novels. The mini-series, premiering on Nov 18, will only have eight episodes, but fans of the book series are very excited to see Lila & Elena’s story come to life. So, it’s no surprise that people want to know more about the My Brilliant Friend cast, especially the four young girls portraying the primary characters at different points during their childhood and teen years.

Their names and faces are probably unfamiliar to most American fans, but My Brilliant Friend's haunting trailer definitely builds some additional intrigue. Lila's untamed brilliance, Elena's poised and polished nature, and their keen awareness of the patriarchal and violent world around them are instantly evident, so that's a good sign. With that being said, here’s everything you need to know about the actors taking on these pivotal roles.

Ludovica Nasti

ludovicanasti_official on Instagram

According to IMBD, 12-year-old Ludovica Nasti will take on the role of younger Lila. This series is her only acting credit on the website but, according to a Vulture cast interview, only one of the four actors had any experience at all. Director Saverio Constanzo and Ferrante wanted the girls to be from the Neapolitan region and as authentic as possible.

Nasti gives a peek into her world as a rising acting star on Instagram with plenty of posts on set and rocking stylish designer gear, which might indicate a modeling career.

Elisa Del Genio

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Del Genio, age 11, stars opposite Nasti as the younger Elena. As stated in the aforementioned Vulture article, she's a newcomer as well. Her Instagram page is a recent social media addition that chronicles her miniseries filming adventures as well as normal kids moments like posing with a firetruck. She should definitely enjoy the calm before the media storm that this series will probably cause.

Gaia Girace

Eduardo Castaldo/HBO

Gaia's previous acting experience isn't listed on any professional websites, but her determination to succeed as teenage Lila was documented during her Vogue interview in September. Girace didn't allow herself to smile until she got the director's approval after shooting a particularly tough scene multiple times.

According to her, she has the same fierce determination and energy as Lila, so it's not surprising that she puts in such hard work. In the same interview, she revealed that she kept her new role a secret from her friends for personal reasons. If they don't know now, they will certainly figure it out when this series drops.

Margherita Mazzucco

Eduardo Castaldo/HBO

Lastly, there's Margherita Mazzucco, who doesn't have a social media presence, but certainly commands the screen as teenage Elena. She told Los Angeles Times that she was able to juggle filming and school work with ease thanks to a Latin, Greek, and Italian teacher who gave her encouragement. "I would film and then go to school and take my tests and she treated me like every other student," said Mazzucco.

They will be joined by Franceso Serpico and Alessandro Nardi, who portray Nino Sarratore as a teen and child (respectively) as well as Giovanni Amura (teen Stefano Carracci) and Fabrizio Cottone (teen Alfonzo Carracci), per IMBD. The My Brilliant Friend actors may be new faces now, but that will all change when fans get a dose of their acting chops. There's no word on if this series will continue and cover the subsequent books, but hopefully this won't be the last time we see their faces.