Culture / TV

Your first glimpse at Sally Rooney’s ‘Conversations With Friends’ TV adaptation

As we know, Sally Rooney’s debut novel, Conversations With Friends will also be adapted into a TV show. C/o the very team that brought Normal People to life on screen and to such triumph with executive producer Ed Guiney, director Lenny Abrahamson screenwriter Alice Birch and co-writer/icon Rooney herself working on the upcoming adaption, which is officially in the works.

While we await closure between Connell and Marianne and pray for some kind of limited-series extension (mostly just to see Connell and his chain be rampantly horny once again), the pseudo-sequel, and almost equally as horny, Conversations With Friends will have to do. Rooney’s debut novel was well-received when it was published in 2017, giving her an already faithful fanbase to release Normal People to, which was lapped up with the same fervour the world developed towards Connell’s silver necklace in the screen adaptation.

Reports are that the 12-part series has now officially started filming in Northern Ireland as of April 26, 2021, as announced on Instagram by the shows official account. Below, is everything you need to know about the series so far.

The plot

For those who aren't familiar with Rooney's debut novel, Conversations With Friends is set in Dublin, and follows Frances, a student, writer and spoken word performer, who, with her entangled best friend Bobbi, winds up entering the lives of a slightly older, more well-off couple, Melissa and Nick. The two are magnetic and endearing and before long, Frances and Nick grow closer, and their odd four-way relationship spirals. Rooney takes us on a journey of lust, friendship, and the complications of adulthood as the four are entangled together, breaking each other apart and filling in the wrong cracks.

The cast

As far as casting goes, newcomer Alison Oliver is confirmed to play Frances. She’s joined by American Honey star Sasha Lane, playing Bobbi. Melissa will be played by Girls star Jemima Kirke (!!), and Nick by Joe Alwyn.

When the project was first announced, Irish director Lenny Abrahamson -  who helmed Normal People’s success - told BBC (who Conversations With Friends will be adapted for) “I love Conversations With Friends, its depth, humour and freshness, and it’s an honour to be involved in bringing it to the screen. I’m particularly happy that my connection to Sally and her work is set to continue. Making Normal People has been a singular pleasure and I’m excited to be working with the same brilliant team again on Conversations With Friends.”. An apt description of Rooney’s first novel, although Conversations With Friends doesn’t quite carry the same die-hard fan base as Normal People perhaps now has, we can see this changing once aired.

“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. In casting Alison, Sasha, Joe, and Jemima, that same flair and instinct is in evidence, and we can’t wait to see how they will bring Frances, Bobbi, Nick, and Melissa to life.” Piers Wenger, the director of BBC drama said.

Your first look at the upcoming series

As if sensing we were in a serious Conversations with Friends drought, Alwyn has officially given us our first look at the series. Taking to Instagram, the actor shared a series of photos from set, including an image posing alongside his co-stars wrapped in white towels. See it for yourself, below.

 

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A post shared by Joe Alwyn (@joe.alwyn)

Now, BBC have revealed our first look at Alison Oliver’s character, Frances in the below still from the show. They have also released a trailer that previews the forthcoming series kicking off on the BBC in 2022, which included brief clips of Conversations with Friends, if you look hard enough, including a scene that sees Frances and Bobbi swimming in the sea.

Conversations With Friends

When will Conversations With Friends be released?

The show arrives in late April 2022 on BBC Three and Hulu. Not long now!


Image credit: @jemimajokirke, @sashabiancalane