Joe Alwyn and Jemima Kirke have been announced as part of the cast for the TV adaption of Sally Rooney’s 2017 book Conversations With Friends.
The actor, 29, who is dating singer
While newcomer Alison Oliver will play show and book lead Frances with Utopia star Sasha Lane, 25, taking on the role of her best friend and ex-girlfriend Bobbi.
Announcement: Joe Alwyn and Jemima Kirke (L-R) have been announced as part of the cast for the TV adaption of Sally Rooney’s 2017 book Conversations With Friends
The news comes following the success of Rooney’s 2018 novel Normal People which was adapted into a ratings smash hit TV series last year.
It saw show leads Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones, who took on Connell and Marianne’s love story, soar to fame after it aired during the first lockdown.
Filming for Conversations With Friends will take place later this year in Dublin, Belfast and other international locations which are yet to be announced.
Like Rooney’s 2018 smash, Conversations With Friends is also set in Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.
Roles: The actor, 29, who is dating singer Taylor Swift (pictured together in 2019), and Girls actress, 35, will play married couple Nick and Melissa
Best friend duo: Newcomer Alison Oliver, left, will play show and book lead Frances with Utopia star Sasha Lane, 25, right, taking on the role of her best friend Bobbi
Conversations With Friends follows exes turned best friends Frances (Alison) and Bobbi (Sasha), and the strange, unexpected connection they forge with married couple, Melissa (Jemima) and Nick (Joe) after meeting at a poetry night in Ireland.
Frances star Alison is an emerging talent from drama school Lir Academy in Dublin, Ireland, whose fellow graduates include Normal People’s Mescal.
Joe has had success in the likes of Oscar-winning film The Favourite and Mary Queen of Scots while Jemima is known for her role as Jessa in Lena Dunham’s Girls.
Sasha made her film debut in 2016 film American Honey, she also starred as Jessica Hyde in Utopia.
More to come! The news comes following the success of Rooney’s 2018 novel Normal People which was adapted into a ratings smash hit TV series last year (show leads Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones pictured)
It was confirmed in June that BBC Three and Hulu were adapting Rooney’s novel Conversations with Friends.
The 12-part series of half hour episodes will be helmed by Irish Oscar-nominated director Lenny Abrahamson, who also directed Normal People, while Rooney will be on board as executive producer.
Piers Wenger, director of BBC Drama, said of the news: ‘Lenny’s deep affinity for Sally’s writing and talent for finding actors to bring her fictional creations to life played a huge part in bringing Normal People so successfully to screen.
Success: Following the huge success of Normal People, the drama series based on Rooney’s 2018 novel, Hulu and the BBC have teamed up again to adapt the author’s 2017 debut
‘In casting Alison, Sasha, Joe and Jemima, that same flair and instinct is in evidence and we cant wait to see how they will bring Frances, Bobbi, Nick and Melissa to life.’
While Lenny said of the casting announcement: ‘I feel so excited to be collaborating with four such superb actors to bring Sally’s brilliant novel to the screen.
‘Over the last few months it has been a privilege to work alongside Element Pictures and our extraordinary team of writers to get the scripts to a point where we all feel so excited to start shooting.
‘I’ll be joined by a world class crew (many of whom worked on Normal People) and supporting cast and I’m particularly happy to have Leanne Welham come on board.
Success: Joe has had success in the likes of Oscar-winning film The Favourite and Mary Queen of Scots
Iconic: Jemima is known for her role as Jessa in Lena Dunham’s Girls (pictured together in 2017 show still)
‘I’ve been an admirer of her work for a long time and I have no doubt she will bring great skill and subtlety to the episodes she directs.’
Ed Guiney, executive producer and company director of Element Pictures, added: ‘Alison, Sasha, Joe and Jemima are the dream cast to lead Conversations With Friends.
‘All of us at Element are so excited about the incredible scripts from our amazing team of writers which we have been developing with the oversight of the brilliant Lenny Abrahamson.
‘We can’t wait to start filming with Lenny, Leanne and our wonderful cast and crew to bring Sally’s extraordinary novel to the screen.’
Amazing: Sasha made her film debut in 2016 film American Honey, she also starred as Jessica Hyde in Utopia (pictured in 2016 film still)
Normal People writer Alice Birch, who is also a story editor on HBO drama Succession, will be lead writer for the adaptation.
Birch will also work alongside Mark O’Halloran, Meadhbh McHugh and Susan Soon He Stanton.
Sally first published Conversations With Friends in 2017 and released Normal People in 2018, with the latter winning Costa Book Award and Irish Novel of the Year – to name a few accolades.
Normal People co-producer Ed Guiney teased the future plans for Conversations with Friends in May when asked about a second series following Connell and Marianne.
Huge hit: Normal People has been the most watched show on BBC Three ever with more than 23 million downloads globally and over 6.75 million devices watching the first episode (Mescal and Edgar-Jones pictured in show still)
‘Not in the short term. We’ve turned our attention – we’re adapting Conversations with Friends as a television series. But maybe down the line we’ll come back to Connell and Marianne,’ he teased.
Normal People has been the most watched show on BBC Three ever with more than 23 million downloads globally and over 6.75 million devices watching the first episode. This makes it the most popular programme on the channel ever.
The 12-part drama is based on Rooney’s bestselling novel about the turbulent relationship between working-class Connell [Mescal] and well-heeled Marianne [Edgar-Jones], has been praised for its unflinching take on sexuality.
It’s an exciting time for Rooney and her third novel, Beautiful World Where Are You, is set to be published in September.
Talented: Sally first published Conversations With Friends in 2017 and released Normal People in 2018, with the latter winning Costa Book Award and Irish Novel of the Year – to name a few accolades (pictured in January 2020)