'Conversations with Friends' Cast Announced for Hulu Series Based on 'Normal People' Author's Debut Novel
Last year, one of the Internet’s TV obsessions was Hulu and BBC Three’s sexy Irish drama series Normal People, which was based on author Sally Rooney’s popular novel. In the wake of that show’s success, those companies are once again getting back in the Sally Rooney business with a television adaptation of her debut novel, Conversations with Friends. Get details about the cast, writers, and directors below.
Today, Hulu announced that its Conversations with Friends cast includes newcomer Alison Oliver and actors Sasha Lane (American Honey), Joe Alwyn (The Favourite), and Jemima Kirke (HBO’s Girls). Oliver, who went to the same acting school as Normal People‘s Paul Mescal, will play the lead character of Frances, Lane will play Bobbi, Alwyn will play Nick, and Kirke will play Melissa. Here’s the official synopsis for the 12-episode series:
Conversations with Friends follows Frances, a 21 year old college student, as she navigates a series of relationships that force her to confront her own vulnerabilities for the first time. Frances is observant, cerebral and sharp. Her ex-girlfriend, now best friend, Bobbi is self-assured, outspoken and compelling. Though they broke up three years ago, Frances and Bobbi are virtually inseparable and perform spoken word poetry together in Dublin. It’s at one of their shows that they meet Melissa, an older writer who is fascinated by the pair. Bobbi and Frances start to spend time with Melissa and her husband, Nick, a handsome but reserved actor. While Melissa and Bobbi flirt with each other openly, Nick and Frances embark on an intense secret affair that is surprising to them both. Soon the affair begins to test the bond between Frances and Bobbi, forcing Frances to reconsider her sense of self, and the friendship she holds so dear.
I have not read Rooney’s award-winning novel, but I’ve already seen some questioning online about Alwyn as Nick, who in the book is supposed to be an older guy who’s teetering on the edge of divorce instead of someone who’s closer to Frances’s age. It should be interesting to see if that altered dynamic plays as well on screen as the book version does.
Lenny Abrahamson, whose film credits include movies like the Brie Larson drama Room and the music-centric indie feature Frank, directed half of the episodes of Normal People, and evidently is a good fit for what is slowly becoming a (non-connected) Sally Rooney extended TV universe, because he will direct this show alongside Leanne Welham, who recently helmed three episodes of HBO’s His Dark Materials. Alice Birch (Normal People) will write with Mark O’Halloran (Rialto), Meadhbh McHugh (Asking For It), and Susan Soon He Stanton (Succession).
Production begins in Dublin, Belfast, and to-be-determined international locations, and the plan is for the show to premiere on Hulu in the United States in 2022.
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