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Paul Mescal congratulates his pal Alison Oliver on landing a role in TV adaptation of Sally Rooney novel

Paul Mescal has congratulated his friend Alison Oliver on landing a lead role in the TV adaptation of Sally Rooney’s first novel, Conversations with Friends.

The Cork native has been cast as the book’s lead character Frances, which was announced by Element Pictures on Wednesday.

After the news hit headlines, Paul took to Instagram to congratulate Alison – who attended the same drama school as him, The Lir Academy in Dublin.

Posting a photo of the book cover on his Instagram Story, the 25-year-old wrote: “Here we go! Can’t wait to see this.”

“Big shout out to my pal @alisonoliver333 who is going to blow you all away,” he added.

Paul starred in the BBC adaptation of Sally Rooney’s second novel Normal People last year, which received worldwide acclaim.

The Maynooth native has since landed multiple award nominations, and some huge movie roles.

Normal People | Enda Bowe/Hulu

Alison has been cast in Conversations with Friends alongside American actress Sasha Lane, who will play Bobbi; former Girls star Jemima Kirke, who will play Melissa; and British actor Joe Alwyn as Nick.

The series will follow college student Frances (Alison), as she navigates a series of relationships that force her to confront her own vulnerabilities for the first time.

Frances is observant, cerebral and sharp. Her ex-girlfriend, now best friend, Bobbi (Sasha) is self-assured, outspoken and compelling.

Though they broke up three years ago, Frances and Bobbi are virtually inseparable and perform spoken word poetry together in Dublin.

Alison Oliver will play Frances
Sasha Lane will play Bobbi

It’s at one of their shows that they meet Melissa (Jemima), an older writer, who is fascinated by the pair.

Bobbi and Frances start to spend time with Melissa and her husband, Nick (Joe Alwyn), a handsome but reserved actor.

While Melissa and Bobbi flirt with each other openly, Nick and Frances embark on an intense, 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.

Joe Alwyn will play Nick

Element Pictures is once again collaborating with director Lenny Abrahamson and writer Alice Birch on the 12-part series, who will work alongside writers Mark O’Halloran (Rialto), Meadhbh McHugh (Asking For It) and Susan Soon He Stanton (Succession).

Filming will take place this year in Dublin, Belfast and international locations yet to be confirmed, with Lenny Abrahamson sharing directorial duties with Leanne Welham (Pili, His Dark Materials).

Lenny Abrahamson, Executive Producer and Director, said: “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.”

Lenny Abrahamson directing an episode of Normal People on the grounds of Trinity College

“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.”

Ed Guiney, Executive Producer and Company Director of Element Pictures, added: “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.”


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