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'Conversations with Friends': cast announced for 'Normal People' follow-up

Alison Oliver, Sasha Lane, Jemima Kirke and Joe Alwyn's headshots.
The Conversations with Friends cast from left to right: Alison Oliver, Sasha Lane, Jemima Kirke and Joe Alwyn. (Image credit: BBC / Hulu)

The cast for Conversation with Friends, the hugely-anticipated adaptation of the debut novel from Sally Rooney, author of Normal People has just been announced.

The full casting announcement for Conversations with Friends is as follows:

Alison Oliver, an emerging talent from Lir Academy (whose graduates include Normal People’s Paul Mescal) will play Frances, Sasha Lane (American Honey, The Miseducation of Cameron Post) will star as Bobbi, Joe Alwyn (The Favourite, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk) as Nick and Jemima Kirke (Sex Education, Girls) as Melissa, in this unique series that is both a complex coming of age drama and a very modern love story.

The Conversations with Friends series is produced by Element Pictures (The Favourite) and will follow the plot of Rooney’s critically acclaimed novel. It follows 21-year old Frances, a college student trying to navigate her way through a series of relationships that make her face up to some of her own weaknesses. Frances is described by Element Pictures as ‘observant, cerebral and sharp.’

Bobbi is Frances’ ‘self-assured, outspoken and compelling’ ex-girlfriend-turned-best friend. The two of them broke up several years ago but continue to be inseparable. At one of their poetry meet-ups in Dublin, they meet Melissa, an older writer who warms to the two girls and befriends them.

Nick is a ‘handsome but reserved actor’, and Melissa’s husband. He strikes up a secretive relationship with Frances at the same time as Melissa and Bobbi start flirting with one another openly. That passionate affair will ultimately push Frances and Bobbi’s friendship to the brink.

Conversations with Friends will be directed by Oscar nominee Lenny Abrahamson. He returns from Normal People and shares directing duties with Leanne Welham (His Dark Materials). 

Abrahamson said: ‘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. 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.’

Conversations with Friends will premiere in 2022 on BBC Three and air on BBC One in the UK. It will air on Hulu in the US. A release date has not been announced yet.