In his interview with EW, Anthony Doerr explains that his version of Marie-Laure and Werner’s introduction was crafted in service of historical accuracy, rather than audience satisfaction. But he is more than supportive of the liberties the show’s creative team took with the subject matter, arguing that there’s nothing wrong with people craving resolution for the characters.
Although the series’ stars are not promoting the book due to SAG strike restrictions, director Shawn Levy says that Aria Mia Loberti, the actress who portrays Marie-Laure, was eager to keep the romantic moment between Marie-Laure and Werner in the script. Levy says Loberti was keen to showcase a blind woman as being the object of romantic affection, something she believes has been historically lacking in Hollywood’s representation of blind characters and characters with disabilities. Loberti, a first-time actress who was raised in Rhode Island, was born with achromatopsia, a genetic eye condition that causes reduced vision and blindness, depending on her environment. A former doctoral student, Loberti identifies as an advocate for disability equity and thinks that a life spent advocating for herself and for others helped prepare her as a storyteller.
Levy says casting Loberti in the role of Marie-Laure was an important choice for the project. However, series writer Steven Knight’s decision to enhance Marie-Laure and Werner’s meeting is equally compelling. He tells EW, “When you dance, what do you do? You come close. I just felt, in that moment of orbit, it was very important to signify the humanity of both [characters].”