EXCLUSIVE: Rachel Naomi Hilson (This Is Us) is set as a series regular opposite Michael Cimino in Love, Simon, the Disney+ series inspired by the praised 2018 movie based on Becky Albertali’s New York Times bestselling novel, in a recasting. The series hails from This Is Us executive producers/co-showrunners Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, who wrote the movie, and 20th Century Fox TV, part of Disney TV Studios.
Set in the world of the film, the series follows Victor (Cimino), a new student at Creekwood High School. On his own journey of self-discovery, he’s facing challenges at home, adjusting to a new city and struggling with his sexual orientation. When it all seems too much, he reaches out to Simon to help him navigate the ups and downs of high school.
Hilson will play Mia, Victor’s whip-smart friend with a quick wit and easy laugh. Hilson is replacing Johnny Sequoyah, who previously was announced for the role. A decision was made to take the character in a new creative direction, leading to the recasting.
Aptaker and Berger wrote and executive produce the Disney+ series via their overall deal at 20th TV. Also executive producing are three of the movie’s producers, Marty Bowen and Isaac Klausner of Temple Hill and Pouya Shahbazian, as well as Grand Hotel exec producer/showrunner Brian Tanen, Jason Ensler (The Passage), Adam Fishbach (Narcos), and Wyck Godfrey (I, Robot). Amy York Rubin (Casual) directs the first episode with her creative partner Pilar Boehm co-executive producing. Adam Londy will also co-executive produce.
Hilson, a recent alumna of the theatre program at The Baltimore School for the Arts and NYU, had a starring role in the Lionsgate feature Kings, alongside Halle Berry and Daniel Craig. She also recurred heavily on NBC’s musical drama Rise and appeared on the hit NBC drama series This Is Us, playing the young version of Beth opposite Phylicia Rashad. Hilson is repped by LINK Entertainment, Carson Adler and Stone, Genow, Smelkinson, Binder & Christopher.