Although she portrays a superhero on screen, American actress Brie Larson believes that young people who successfully navigate the ups and downs of adolescence are the genuine heroes. And it was the Captain Marvel (2019) star’s personal struggle with self-worth and acceptance that inspired her to start a documentary series honoring these coming-of-age experiences.
Growing Up, which makes its Disney+ debut on Thursday, follows a diverse group of 11 people, ranging in age from 18 to 22, as they share incredibly personal stories about overcoming internal and external obstacles. Important moments from each episode are dramatized.
Being black, queer, or disabled isn’t the only reason why many young individuals struggle to fit in. But gradually, everyone finds their path. The 10 half-hour episodes are directed by Larson, 32, together with other filmmakers and American actress Yara Shahidi, 22, who plays the title character on the comedy Black-ish (2014 to 2022).
Larson and co-producer Nicole Galovski scoured neighborhood newspapers and Instagram for young kids with moving growing-up tales after deciding on the topics they wanted to explore. Larson claims she had a startling realization about how she was “living in shame about who I was” and feeling “unlovable” during a virtual press conference for Growing Up.
Her desire to unite people through the sharing of this shared human experience inspired her to start the series.