BBC Two announces cast of Zadie Smith’s NW

Luther & A View From The Bridge actresses lead cast.

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Nikki Amuka-Bird (Luther, Small Island) and Phoebe Fox (A View From The Bridge, Life In Squares) are confirmed to star in BBC Two’s adaptation of Zadie Smith’s bestselling book NW, as filming commences.

The 90-minute drama, adapted by Rachel Bennette (Bel Ami), sees Nikki Amuka-Bird and Phoebe Fox play Natalie and Leah – two friends who grew up together in North West London, but whose lives have taken them in different directions. Amuka-Bird will play the outwardly successful but unfulfilled Natalie, with Fox as Leah, her more grounded friend whose life is also at a crossroads.

Amuka-Bird, says: “I couldn’t be more excited to be taking on the challenge of playing one of Zadie Smith’s characters. She writes vivid, intellectually and emotionally complex women that you can sink your teeth into. NW was my postcode for many years and I was amazed to read a book that so brilliantly and honestly captured the reality of life in one of our most multi-cultural suburbs, so it’s thrilling to be involved in bringing it to the screen.”

Zadie Smith says: “I am thrilled that NW is being made, and especially pleased that Nikki Amuka-Bird is to play Natalie, a powerful stage actress who I know will bring depth and heart to the role.”

Fox, says: “Zadie Smith wrote such an honest book about not just North West London but the whole city, and the complex people that inhabit it. Her women in particular are so finely drawn; and Rachel Bennette has done a beautiful job in bringing them to life in this adaptation. It’s such a pleasure to be a part of bringing all this to the screen.”

Also starring in the production will be Richie Campbell (Anuvahood) playing Nathan, and OT Fagbenle (The Five) playing Felix, as well as newcomers Rosalind Eleazar as Shar, Ronke Adekoluejo as Grace, and James MacCallum as Tom.

Mammoth Screen Executive Producer, Preethi Mavahalli, says: “We are very privileged to be bringing Zadie Smith’s stunning portrait of modern London to life on screen. This is a uniquely powerful story of two women facing identity crises and coming to terms with their broken friendship, and we know that Nikki and Phoebe will bring enormous nuance and power to their roles.”

NW is produced by Mammoth Screen and directed by Saul Dibb (Bullet Boy, The Duchess). Shooting will take place mainly in North West London, with locations including Kilburn Station and Queen’s Park.