‘The Other Black Girl’ Author Says Casting Process Was ‘Magical’

When The Other Black Girl hit bookshelves on June 1, 2021, it quickly became a sensation. After a fierce 14-way auction, Hulu planned an adaptation following a competitive bidding war.

Zakiya Dalila Harris penned this thrilling novel, drawing from her personal experience as one of the only two Black individuals on her floor at Penguin Random House. The story follows Nella, who initially connects with new hire Hazel in their shared struggle against racism at the fictional Wagner Books, only to discover Hazel’s dark intentions.

In an interview with Hollywood Reporter, Harris spoke about the casting process, “I’ll never forget the first day we started doing casting (on Zoom). It felt so magical to see women reading for Nella and Hazel. I started to see very quickly what I thought worked and didn’t work for the roles. There were so many great auditions for Nella, but when I saw Sinclair [Daniel] I was just so blown away because she was able to convey so much on her face.”

She added, “Humor, despair, contemplativeness, in the span of milliseconds. I felt a deep empathy for her immediately. I think what I said to the showrunner was, she has such an open face. From the way she’s written in the book, the character could have been very pensive, nerdy and awkward, but Sinclair is so charming.”

The Other Black Girl cast features Garcelle Beauvais, Sinclair Daniel, Brittany Adebumola, Bellamy Young, Karina Willis, Ashleigh Murray, Hunter Parrish, and Kate Owens.

The show is set to premiere on Hulu on September 13.

Joanne Wells

Joanne Wells is a media journalist for ScreenNearYou. She reports on the inside conversations in Hollywood. Also, she loves pizza!

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