Joe Alwyn to star in Conversations with Friends on BBC

Conversations with Friends cast revealed: Normal People writer Sally Rooney penned book behind BBC drama

If you liked Normal People, you'll LOVE this!

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The cast of Conversations with Friends has finally been revealed, and it’s every bit as good as we’d hoped for.

BBC Three’s adaptation of the Sally Rooney book of the same name promises to be as bingeable as Normal People – which became a highlight of the first lockdown in 2020 for so many.

Here’s everything you need to know about Conversations with Friends, including the cast, start date and plot.

Joe Alwyn to star in Conversations with Friends on BBC
Joe Alwyn portrays Nick in Conversations with Friends on BBC Three (Credit: Splash)

Read more: Fans left ‘bereft’ at the end of Normal People – but divided over second series

Conversations with Friends on BBC: What’s it about?

Conversations with Friends is an adaptation of Sally Rooney’s first book of the same name.

The plot centres around 21-year-old Frances, a student in Dublin and an aspiring writer.

Frances performs spoken word at night with her best friend Bobbi, who used to be her girlfriend.

Journalist Melissa interviews and befriends them – and their lives change forever.

They enter into a world of beautiful houses, sexy dinner parties and holidays in Provence – and a complex ménage-à-quatre with Melissa’s actor husband Nick.

But when Frances and Nick get unexpectedly closer, the sharply witty and emotion-averse Frances is forced to confront her own vulnerabilities for the first time.

Like Normal People, Conversations with Friends is set in Dublin, and made by BBC Three and Hulu.

Who’s in the cast? Joe Alwyn

The cast for the hotly-anticipated TV adaptation includes rising stars Joe Alwyn, Alison Oliver and Sasha Lane.

Londoner Joe, 29, portrayed Bob Cratchit in TV drama A Christmas Carol.

He’ll play Nick, a “handsome but reserved actor”,  in the 12-part drama.

Oh, and he’s also dating Taylor Swift and is said to be the inspiration for her song London Boy.

He even co-wrote on her latest album Folklore.

Alison Oliver

Meanwhile, total newbie Alison Oliver will play Frances.

The 21-year-old went to the same drama school as Normal People star Paul Mescal, The Lir Academy in Dublin.

Jemima Kirke joins the cast of Conversations with Friends
Jemima Kirke will star in Conversations with Friends as Nick’s wife Melissa (Credit: Splash)

Read more: Normal People star Paul Mescal moves in with co-star India Mullen

Conversations with Friends cast: Sasha Lane

Sasha Lane, 25, will play Bobbi.

TV viewers will recognise her as Jessica Hyde in the US version of Utopia, and from her role as Alice Monaghan in Hellboy.

At the age of 19, Sasha was spotted sunbathing on a Florida beach by British director Andrea Arnold, who cast her in the lead role of her award-winning 2016 film American Honey opposite Shia LaBeouf.

Jemima Kirke

Girls’ Jemima Kirke, 35, portrays journalist Melissa.

Jemima played Jessa in Lena Dunham’s series Girls, and just happens to be Lena’s best mate!

She has joined the cast of the forthcoming third season of Netflix comedy Sex Education as the new headmistress.

Sasha Lane will star in Conversations with Friends
Sasha Lane will play Frances’ ex-girlfriend and now best friend in Conversations with Friends (Credit: Splash)

How can I watch it?

Conversations with Friends is being made by BBC Three and Hulu.

Like Normal People, the series will go out on BBC Three.

The whole series will likely go up on iPlayer for a marathon CWF sesh.

When will it start?

Director Lenny Abrahamson, who also made Normal People, will begin filming later this year.

Piers Wenger, director of BBC Drama, said: “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.”

It will air in 2022.

Paul mescal in normal people
BBC Three’s adapation of Sally Rooney’s book Normal People helped many people through lockdown (Credit: BBC / Element Pictures/Enda Bowe)

How many parts will it be?

Conversations with Friends will be 12 parts.

Like its predecessor Normal People, each episode will be a bitesize 30 minutes.

Is it a sequel to Normal People?

Contrary to popular opinion, Conversations with Friends is NOT a sequel to Normal People.

The novel, released in 2017, is Sally Rooney’s first novel.

Normal People followed in 2019.

Although both are set in Dublin, CWF does not feature Normal People characters Connell and Marieanne.

Normal People was streamed more than 62m times making it BBC iPlayer’s most popular series of 2020.


Conversations with Friends will air later in 2021 on BBC Three. Normal People is currently available to watch on iPlayer.

Are you excited to watch Conversations with Friends when it airs? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.

Helen Fear
TV Editor