Joe Alwyn Will Star In Sally Rooney's 'Conversation With Friends' — And Taylor Swift May Have Summoned It
It might not be the sequel that Normal People fans asked for, but it's the one they're gonna get. Hulu announced the cast of the next Sally Rooney adaptation on Wednesday, Feb. 17, and while some fans will be let down at the severe lack of Paul Mescal (and his necklace), the news that Joe Alwyn will star in Conversations With Friends has Taylor Swift fans positively thrilled.
Alwyn, aka Swift's longtime beau, aka the Heartbreak Prince himself, will star in the drama series as Nick, an actor bored in his marriage to Melissa (played by Girls star Jemima Kirke), who starts an affair with a young college student, Frances (newcomer Alison Oliver). Sasha Lane (American Honey) also stars as Frances' best friend/ex-girlfriend Bobbi, who has a bit of her own flirtation with Melissa. Normal People director Lenny Abrahamson is set to return, so fans should think of Conversations With Friends as a kind of spiritual second season. Similar themes and tone, but a different story. (My condolences to Marianne and Connell shippers, you'll have to rely on fan fiction to continue their story.)
In light of the casting, some fans pointed out that Taylor Swift's powers are greater than we knew. She gushed over Conversations With Friends in a 2019 interview with Entertainment Weekly, years before her boyfriend would be cast in the TV adaptation. "I really like [Sally Rooney's] book Conversations With Friends," Swift said at the time. "I like the tone she takes when she's writing." Alwyn, it seems, agrees. In his post announcing his casting, the actor called Conversations With Friends "one of my favorite books of the last few years."
Perhaps Conversation With Friends was part of the Swift/Alwyn book club? Or maybe this is the entire point of talking something into existence. What I would give for a peek at Taylor Swift's manifestation board where there's undoubtedly a picture of her boyfriend and the book cover side-by-side.
No pressure, bro, but Alwyn will have a lot to live up to in his new role. Normal People star Mescal became an international heartthrob overnight when the show premiered on Hulu. He and his character's signature chain are now worldwide sex symbols. Meanwhile Mescal's co-star, Daisy Edgar-Jones, was just nominated for a Golden Globe.
Conversations With Friends will film this year in Ireland, and is expected to premiere sometime in 2022. So, Alwyn and Swift, if you want to start writing that soundtrack now, that'd be perfect.
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