‘All the Light We Cannot See’ Cast Interview

Aria Mia Loberti and Louis Hofmann star in Netflix's 'All the Light We Cannot See.'

(L to R) Aria Mia Loberti and Louis Hofmann star in Netflix’s ‘All the Light We Cannot See.’

Currently streaming in its entirety on Netflix is the four-part series ‘’All the Light We Cannot See,’ which is based on the popular book and was written by Steven Knight (‘Spencer’) and directed by Shawn Levy (‘Deadpool 3’).

Moviefone recently had the pleasure of speaking with actors Aria Mia Loberti and Louis Hofmann about their work on ‘All the Light We Cannot See,’ how Loberti was cast and prepared for her role, the challenges of humanizing Hofmann’s character, and working with director Shawn Levy.

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.’ Photo: Doane Gregory/Netflix © 2023.

Moviefone: To begin with, Aria, can you talk about how you were cast in this project and how you prepared to play this role?

Aria Mia Loberti: I don’t really know what happened, to be totally honest with you. I sent in an audition tape in my bedroom, because I was having a bad week, and my mental health was tanked. I had spent my whole life advocating for my right to an education. I finally got to this point where I was pursuing it and loving what I studied, but I wasn’t happy, and I didn’t know why. I didn’t want it to be my career. I was just like, “Okay, I guess I’ll send in this tape. I love the book, and this might be kind of a fun hour-long escape.” Then I got a call-back, and I got another call-back. Then I’m like, “Oh my, I should probably tell my mom.” So, I did. Then I was just like, “Okay, well, this is now two weeks, two and a half weeks, three weeks later. Huh, I don’t know what’s really going on.” But I didn’t think I was ever for a second going to get it, and so I prepped a little speech, thanking them and hoping that they would continue to look for an actress who was blind or low vision so that this role could get played authentically. I was going to ask if they could see someone like me being good enough to go to community theater and maybe audition there. I never got to give that speech because that was it. So, I don’t know what happened, frankly. I just cried a lot. Then the next thing I know, I was in Hungary and France filming. We did six days a week for almost six months, and it was just this exceptional experience. I had to learn everything for the first time from the ground up as I was doing it, so that was remarkably exciting and thrilling, but also a lot of pressure. Because it’s such a unique circumstance as a newcomer, as a first timer, after my first audition to be playing this leading character, surrounded by people who have been doing their jobs for years and who are at their top of their craft. So, I just put so much time into trying to learn my craft and create this character from the ground up, and thankfully we have beautiful source material to work from.

Louis Hofmann as Werner in 'All the Light We Cannot See.'

Louis Hofmann as Werner in ‘All the Light We Cannot See.’ Photo: Katalin Vermes/Netflix © 2023.

MF: Louis, can you also talk about preparing for this character and the challenges of humanizing him and making him a likable character even though he is a member of the Nazi Regime?

Louis Hofmann: I think the challenge was just take him seriously in terms of his feelings, his thoughts, his worries, and therefore humanize him. I think (author) Anthony Doerr has beautifully humanized him and has done a beautiful job, so I could go back to that source material and just collect whatever I could find about him, the smallest details whatsoever, to create a three-dimensional picture of him and not only portray the uniform that he was forced to put into, and that’s another thing. He was forced to put that uniform on. He was trying to be indoctrinated into evil, but he doesn’t really subscribe to it, and that is something that I found quite thrilling when I first got the part and preparing the part, was his never wanting to let go of his moral compass. That’s just a constant fight that I was eager to explore, I think.

Related Article: Shawn Levy and Steven Knight Talk ‘All the Light We Cannot See’

Director/Executive Producer Shawn Levy, Hugh Laurie as Etienne LeBlanc in 'All the Light We Cannot See.'

(L to R) Director/Executive Producer Shawn Levy, Hugh Laurie as Etienne LeBlanc in ‘All the Light We Cannot See.’ Photo: Doane Gregory/Netflix © 2023.

MF: Finally, what was it like for both of you working with director Shawn Levy on set?

AML: He’s a hilarious person. He’s just so much fun and he’s full of so much light. He’s an easy person to be around in that sense. But I really appreciate and respect that he took the time with me, because I didn’t know what it meant or what I would have to do to be a professional in this field, because I’ve never done anything like it before. I didn’t know the right question to ask or when to ask them or what’s allowed and what isn’t. He had to teach me everything from the ground up, and I think that requires a genuine amount of compassion and care. I’m very grateful that he respected me, because I had so many questions. But I was also really dedicated to bringing this character to life, not only as she’s depicted on the page, but as the first time we’ve had this authentic representation in a film or a TV series of this caliber, and particularly in a leading role, we’ve never seen anything like this before. I think I said something to Shawn early on that was like, “I never had a role model in the media, whether it was a fictional character in a book, a movie or a TV show, or a real-life person to look up to that was like me.” Not once have I ever felt represented, and I am now that person for someone, and I must be that person for myself. Every day, that was something that we faced together. He is a special human being and because he’s a dad, I think his parental instincts shined through a lot, and he took me under his wing. I think sometimes he thinks that we’re his kids, which is perfect. But he said every day, “I don’t want to hurt your feelings.” I’m like, “Please help me be the best that I could be. I want to do this justice. I want to do well. I love doing this. It brings me so much joy and I want to be good. Can you help me? Please don’t worry if it’s going to insult me. I won’t be insulted.” He was so candid with me every day, and that takes time and care and patience. To say that you learned from someone like Shawn and then also I want to give credit to Louis. I also was able to shadow Shawn filming Louis’s scenes. So, Louis and Shawn were both there to be sounding boards, and it was great, and a big family.

Louis Hofmann as Werner in 'All the Light We Cannot See.'

Louis Hofmann as Werner in ‘All the Light We Cannot See.’ Photo: Katalin Vermes/Netflix © 2023.

LH: I think it was just beautiful to see how eager Aria was to learn. Just every day when she was there, I could just tell that you wanted to understand how it all works and you want to get better, and you want to improve and get the whole gist of it. It was just brilliant to see. It’s so cool.

Aria Mia Loberti as Marie-Laure, Mark Ruffalo as Daniel LeBlanc in 'All the Light We Cannot See'.

(L to R) Aria Mia Loberti as Marie-Laure, Mark Ruffalo as Daniel LeBlanc in ‘All the Light We Cannot See’. Photo: Timea Saghy/Netflix © 2023.

What is the plot of ‘All the Light We Cannot See’?

‘All the Light We Cannot See follows’ the lives of two teenagers during the height of World War II: Marie-Laure (Aria Mia Loberti), a blind French girl and Werner Pfennig (Louis Hofmann), a German boy forced to join and fight for the Nazi Regime.

Who is in the cast of ‘All the Light We Cannot See’?

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.’ Photo: Doane Gregory/Netflix © 2023.

Other Shawn Levy Movies:

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