Hulu's 'Conversations With Friends' Finds Its Stars

Alison Oliver, Sasha Lane, Jemima Kirke and Joe Alwyn
Courtesy of Hulu

Hulu's adaptation of Sally Rooney's debut novel, Conversations With Friends, has found its cast.

Newcomer Alison Oliver (far left) will star in the upcoming 12-episode series, co-produced by BBC Three in the U.K., opposite Sasha Lane, Joe Alwyn and Jemima Kirke, it was announced Wednesday. It is being eyed for a 2022 premiere on Hulu in the U.S. and will debut on BBC Three and BBC One in the U.K.

Conversations With Friends follows Frances (Oliver), a 21-year-old college student who is observant, cerebral and sharp, as she navigates a series of relationships that force her to confront her own vulnerabilities for the first time. Her ex-girlfriend turned best friend, Bobbi (Lane), is self-assured, outspoken and compelling. Though they broke up three years ago, Frances and Bobbi are inseparable and perform spoken word poetry together in Dublin. It’s at one of their shows that they meet Melissa (Kirke), an older writer, who is fascinated by the pair. Bobbi and Frances start to spend time with Melissa and her husband, Nick (Alwyn), a handsome but reserved actor. While Melissa and Bobbi flirt with each other openly, Nick and Frances embark on a 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.  

Filming is expected to begin this year in Dublin, Belfast and other international locations.

Director Lenny Abrahamson and playwright/screenwriter Alice Birch, who helped bring Normal People to life, are back to collaborate on the new series.

“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," Abrahamson said in a statement. "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.”

“Alison, Sasha, Joe and Jemima are the dream cast to lead Conversations With Friends and 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," added executive producer Ed Guiney. 

Conversations With Friends is Rooney's debut novel, which published in 2017. Her second novel, Normal People, which was adapted into the critically acclaimed limited series led by breakout stars Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal, soon followed in 2018. 

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