If you’re just learning about Aria Mia Loberti, you’re not alone.
Loberti had never acted before being cast as Marie-Laure Blanc in the Netflix miniseries All the Light We Cannot See, based on the 2014 novel of the same name.
Despite having no acting training and no prior auditioning experience, Loberti beat out thousands for the role.
“This massive part in this epic series, it’s probably one of the best gifts I’ve ever been given,” she said during an October 2023 interview for Netflix’s “Behind the Streams” webseries.
All the Light We Cannot See hits Netflix on Thursday, November 2. Keep scrolling to learn more about the limited series’ breakout star:
Where Is Aria Mia Loberti From?
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Loberti was born and raised in Johnston, Rhode Island. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2020 with three majors — philosophy, communication studies and political science — and minors in ancient Greek language and rhetoric.
In 2021, Loberti received her master’s degree in ancient rhetoric from Royal Holloway, University of London on a Fulbright Scholarship. She began her doctoral studies in ancient rhetoric at Pennsylvania State University in 2021, but then began to doubt her career path.
When she heard about the casting call for All the Light We Cannot See, Loberti was intrigued and submitted her first ever self-tape.
“I just thought I might enjoy the audition, and when it came time for them to reject me, I wanted to ask if they could see someone like me getting involved in local theater,” Loberti told Marie Claire in November 2023.
Is Aria Mia Loberti Legally Blind?
Loberti’s character in All the Light We Cannot See is a blind French teenager living in occupied France during World War II. Loberti is legally blind herself, and was born with a severe form of the rare genetic eye condition achromatopsia.
“This basically means that I am completely color blind, am very nearsighted and am quite light sensitive,” Loberti explained during a February 2022 interview with JohnstonSunrise.net. “In bright lights like these, or in outdoor lighting, without my dark glasses, I am completely blinded.”
During an October 2023 interview with CBS News, Loberti spoke how she brought her lived experience to the role of Marie-Laure.
“I’m immersing you as the audience into a culture and a mindset in which I live. It’s a lifestyle. It’s not choreography,” she said. “Yes, actors are actors, and everyone, I believe, should have the opportunity to step into someone else’s shoes. But there are countless disabled actors [and] countless blind actresses. I think we need to make the opportunities for fair and equal jobs, in this industry and beyond, and to tell the stories authentically.
How Did Aria Mia Loberti Get Into Acting?
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In November 2023, Loberti told Marie Claire that she’d “always loved the idea of acting,” but once believed it wasn’t a viable option for her due to her disability.
“I did everything I could to hide,” she said. “I thought to myself, ‘As soon as I leave the house, the world is going to mistreat you.’”
Loberti heard about the casting call for All the Light We Cannot See from a teacher. It came at the right moment, as Loberti was feeling “stuck and out of sorts,” she told Netflix for an October 2023 Tudum article.
“I was at a place where I had everything I had dreamed of and worked toward academically,” she recalled. “But I wasn’t overwhelmingly happy.”
What Has Director Shawn Levy Said About Aria Mia Loberti?
Levy, who directed the four-part series, has opened up about his decision to cast a star with no acting experience.
“Early on, I was open to any kind of casting,” he told CBS News in October 2023. “But I had this gnawing suspicion that the right way to do this and the best way to do this was to do it with an actress, or a non-actress who is new to acting, but who brought the experience that Marie, the character, lives with. And that meant a low-vision or blind candidate. And we saw hundreds and hundreds, and Aria rose to the top.”
The Stranger Things producer described Loberti’s audition as a “jaw-drop moment” while speaking with JohnstonSunrise.net. “[She] is both a natural performer and an advocate for disability equity and representation. I can’t wait to tell this beautiful story with her at the center,” he said.
Loberti’s costar Mark Ruffalo, who plays her father, Daniel LeBlanc, has also sung the Rhode Island native’s praises.
“I’m a little jealous because it took me 30 years to be able to do what she showed up and did in two weeks,” Ruffalo told Netflix for an October 2023 Tudum article. “Aria has been a revelation.”
Does Aria Mia Loberti Have a Guide Dog?
During a November 2023 interview with Vanity Fair, Loberti said that her guide dog, Ingrid, helped give her the confidence she needed during the All the Light We Cannot See audition process.
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“I probably would’ve never gone on that goddamn audition if not for that dog,” she told the outlet.
Ingrid was by Loberti’s side on the set of the Netflix miniseries. “Ingrid would show me the edge of the carpet so I didn’t trip,” she told CBS News of the black lab, whom she frequently shares snaps of via Instagram.
Courtesy of Aria Mia Loberti/Instagram