TORONTO — The Canadian coming-of-age series “Anne with an E” has found its cast for an Indigenous storyline that will unfold in the upcoming third season.
Producers say 12-year-old Kiawenti:io Tarbell, a Mohawk from Akwesasne, will play Ka’kwet on the CBC and Netflix series that’s inspired by Lucy Maud Montgomery’s classic novel.
The character is described as an independent, resilient Mi’kmaq girl who befriends Anne, played by Amybeth McNulty.
Showrunner Moira Walley-Beckett and executive producer Miranda de Pencier cast Tarbell after an extensive, open-call search across Canada.
Other new Indigenous cast members include Brandon Oakes and Dana Jeffrey.
De Pencier first revealed the Indigenous storyline to The Canadian Press last month, when “Anne with an E” got 15 Canadian Screen Award nominations.
“There is an energetic charisma and undeniable intelligence to Kiawenti:io that aligns so perfectly with the character of Ka’kwet,” de Pencier said Tuesday in a statement.
“Moira and I can’t wait for ‘Anne with an E’ fans to meet her.”
The Canadian Screen Award nominations are for season 2, which included an LGBTQ storyline and the show’s first black character, a Trinidadian sailor played by Dalmar Abuzeid, who is nominated for best guest performance.
“I have always felt compelled to stretch the scope of the original book,” Walley-Beckett said in the statement.
“Season 3 promises to be our most intense yet, with storylines about inclusion, romance, pathos, and growing pains for all our characters.”
Principal photography has started on the upcoming season, in which Anne turns 16 and her world starts to expand.
New directors include Kim Nguyen and Michelle Latimer.