The forthcoming Richard Linklater adaptation of Maria Semple’s sensational 2012 novel Where’d You Go, Bernadette has finally cast a key role. Newcomer Emma Nelson will play Bee, Bernadette’s 15-year-old daughter who narrates the book, and whose investigation into her mother’s disappearance acts as a framing device for the story.
This will be Nelson’s first film role. The teen actor will star alongside heavy-hitters Cate Blanchett (as Bernadette), Billy Crudup (as Bernadette’s husband, Elgie), Laurence Fishburne, Kristen Wiig and Judy Greer. The Annapurna Pictures-backed film, directed by School of Rock and Boyhood helmer Linklater, follows a script by Linklater, Holly Gent, Vincent Palmo Jr., Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter.
According to a statement from Annapurna, the film auditioned upwards of 500 girls before finally landing on their Bee. “There are so many talented actors in her age range, and we saw hundreds of them for the role of Bee, but several things ultimately swayed me toward Emma,” Linklater said. “In addition to her intelligence and utter natural quality, I was most impressed with her composure, confidence and unflappability. Even though this was her first movie role, she was unintimidated.”
Prior to her casting, Nelson starred in local projects in her native Chicago, including as one of the leads in pre-Broadway production Trevor the Musical. On the side, Nelson is “an active eighth grader with interests in writing, politics and singing.”
Where’d You Go, Bernadette is set for a March 22, 2019 release.