To many, Conversations with Friends is Rooney's "other" book, a statement that places the spotlight on Normal People, the novel that inspired another Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated Hulu series. But to me, it's the opposite. Conversations has always been the superior novel by the Irish author, who specializes in writing about introverted, beautiful, horny Irish college students who don't know what they want to do with their life. Published in May 2017, it was Rooney's debut novel, beloved before Normal People hit everyone's Instagram feeds in 2018.
So, both books are good, but I think the cast of Conversations will convince you that maybe it is indeed the more elite book, even if the world is telling you that Normal People is better!
Leading the cast are three familiar faces and one new one: newcomer Alison Oliver will play Frances, Sasha Lane will play Bobbi, Joe Alwyn will play Nick, and Jemima Kirke will play Melissa.
Piers Wenger, the director of BBC drama, which will air later on Hulu for US audiences, praised the cast after the unveiling. “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,” he said, according to The Guardian.
Meanwhile, Alwyn and Kirke will be the attractive, free-spirited, but hard-to-read couple who sets off the key drama in the show. Kirke's Melissa is basically Jessa from Girls abroad, while Awlyn's Nick, an actor, is meant to be unnervingly charming — a slight departure from his more desperate The Favourite character. Nick is the love interest and an object of lust for a few people, and soon Alwyn will be, too.
On that note, someone should ask Taylor Swift how excited she is because this is her dream casting. “I really like her book Conversations With Friends," she told Entertainment Weekly in May 2019. (Fans also think Swift used a line from Rooney in her song, "Cruel Summer," which is about Alwyn.) "I like the tone she takes when she’s writing. I think it’s like being inside somebody’s mind.”