(October 21, 2016 – Toronto, ON) It was 108 years ago that the world first came of know of Anne Shirley, the 11-year-old orphan and beloved girl in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s novel Anne of Green Gables. Many actors have played Anne, and now we have a new Anne for a brand new series. After an extensive global casting search, Northwood Entertainment, Netflix and CBC today announced that young rising star Amybeth McNulty (pictured) has been cast as the precocious and imaginative young girl in the highly anticipated new dramatic television series Anne. Production of the 8 episode mini-series began in Prince Edward Island in September and has now moved to Ontario.
“We auditioned over 1,889 girls from around the globe for the inspiring and complex role of Anne. We are thrilled to have found the incredibly versatile and delightful Amybeth McNulty to play this world-renowned heroine alongside the rest of our brilliant cast,” says executive producer Miranda de Pencier.
Fourteen-year-old Irish Canadian actress Amybeth McNulty was raised in Donegal, Ireland. She started acting at the early age of six, and has appeared in numerous productions on stage and on screen including in the feature film Morgan starring Kate Mara and in the television series Agatha Raisin for Sky and The Sparticle Mystery for CBBC in the UK. A trained singer, Amybeth also starred in London’s acclaimed Regent’s Park production of The Sound of Music.
“Amybeth is a wonderful and sensitive actress who embodies all of Anne’s qualities. She’s soulful and inquisitive, mercurial and passionate. Her ability to convey pain and joy is breathtaking,” says showrunner and executive producer Moira Walley-Beckett. “Amybeth is Anne for a new generation.”
Also starring as the siblings who adopt Anne, Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, are Tony and four-time BAFTA nominee Geraldine James OBE (Sherlock Holmes, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and multiple award-winning veteran Canadian stage and television actor, Governor General Award recipient R.H. Thomson (Chloe, The Englishman’s Boy).
While the new series will honour the foundation of the novel held as a Canadian treasure and global phenomenon (Anne of Green Gables has sold more than 50 million copies worldwide), Anne will also chart new territory. Anne and the rest of the characters will experience adventures reflecting timeless and topical issues including themes of identity, feminism, bullying and prejudice.
As previously announced, award-winning Director Niki Caro (Whale Rider, McFarland USA, Zookeeper’s Wife) is helming the two-hour premiere episode. Three-time Emmy® Award and Golden Globe winner Moira Walley-Beckett (Breaking Bad, Flesh & Bone) is penning the entire first season of the series and serves as showrunner and executive producer alongside executive producer Miranda de Pencier (Beginners, Thanks for Sharing), under her Northwood Entertainment banner. Alison Owen (Saving Mr. Banks) and Debra Hayward (Bridget Jones Diary, Les Misérables) are also attached to executive produce and Susan Murdoch will produce.