Conversations With Friends viewers baffled by Joe Alwyn’s ‘poor cast’ after series debut


Joe Alwyn’s casting as Nick Conway in Conversations With Friends left viewers of the BBC’s adaptation of Sally Rooney’s 2017 book of the same name baffled after its release on Sunday.

Joe, 31, stars alongside Jemima Kirke, 37, as married couple Nick and Melissa who get involved with a pair of college students who were once also an item, with the series picking up on the hit novel Normal People by Sally in 2018, which was adapted into a hit TV series in 2020.

However, after the series was released for streaming by the BBC and on Hulu over the weekend, viewers wondered if Joe was right for the role, as the character in the book is older.

Question mark: Joe Alwyn’s casting as Nick Conway in Conversations With Friends puzzled viewers of the BBC’s adaptation of Sally Rooney’s 2017 book of the same name

Referring to a quote from a review by Varietyone person tweeted: “That’s kinda on point. One point I forgot to make, Nick doesn’t come off as an older man at all so that made the whole story not work.

‘V misstreamed #ConversationswithFriends. ‘But it just doesn’t read old enough to sell how many years there are apparently between Nick and Frances.’

Someone else posted: “15 minutes into #ConversationswithFriends and I have just one question: With all due respect, what were they thinking when they cast Joe Alwyn?”

Screen star: Joe, 31, stars alongside Jemima Kirke, 37, as married couple Nick and Melissa who become involved with a pair of college students who were once also an item (Joe pictured with the student character Frances (Alison Oliver)

Screen star: Joe, 31, stars alongside Jemima Kirke, 37, as married couple Nick and Melissa who become involved with a pair of college students who were once also an item (Joe pictured with the student character Frances (Alison Oliver)

While referencing actor Paul Mescal who played Connell Waldron on Normal People, another viewer wrote, “I’ll just say it; Joe Alwyn is not Paul Mescal and that’s the first thing wrong with #ConversationswithFriends I left to see Normal People again.

Someone else shared: “I’m sorry but everyone says ‘I get it’ it’s like WHAT do you get??? Because Joe Alwyn does NOT give what Paul Mescal gave .

Another viewer joked: ‘Me: Can you believe Joe Alwyn went to the same acting school as Andrew Garfield? My friend: He definitely screwed up class.

Opinions: After the series was released for streaming by the BBC and on Hulu this weekend, viewers wondered if Joe was right for the role, as the character in the book is older.

Opinions: After the series was released for streaming by the BBC and on Hulu this weekend, viewers wondered if Joe was right for the role, as the character in the book is older.

‘This friend actually read the book and hated Nick’s performance so what am I even saying lol #ConversationswithFriends.’

And another audience member shared, “I’m sure Joe is a good actor in his other stuff, but I feel like he made Nick so boring.” I know he is reserved and calm in the book but he is always moving and dynamic!!! I just felt his portrayal made him look so flat #ConversationswithFriends.

However, not all viewers were impressed, with many taking to Twitter to offer contrasting opinions.

Other side: However, not all viewers were impressed, with many taking to Twitter to offer contrasting opinions

Other side: However, not all viewers were impressed, with many taking to Twitter to offer contrasting opinions

“Joe plays Nick as he was written in the book,” one person wrote. “Nick was written as clumsy, stiff and personalityless and Joe does a good job of portraying him on screen.

“No need to compare him to Paul Mescal – different characters! #Conversationswithfriends.’

Someone else shared: “Why does everyone hate the performance of Joe playing Nick from a clip when it’s actually pretty close to how the character was in the book #ConversationswithFriends.”

On Screen: The 2017 TV adaptation of Sally Rooney's Conversations With Friends book features plenty of steamy scenes

On Screen: The 2017 TV adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Conversations With Friends book features plenty of steamy scenes

While someone else shared: “2 episodes and I love it”. The spiky chemistry… excruciating!! I am absolutely dying of clumsiness. Joe Alwyn is perfect as Nick. Alison, discreet captivating. My new favorite. #Conversationswithfriends.’

And someone else simply posted: “Joe Alwyn was born to play Nick #ConversationswithFriends.”

The show follows college students, Frances (Alison Oliver) and Bobbi (Sasha Lane), as they navigate their unusual attraction to mysterious and sexy married couple Nick and Melissa.

Both the novel and trailer are packed with racy moments that will have viewers’ hearts racing and will likely follow in the footsteps of author Sally’s 2020 series Normal People, which wowed viewers with its intimate, realistic sex scenes.

Like author Sally’s 2017 bestselling book, Conversations With Friends is also set at Trinity College Dublin.

After Bobbi falls in love with Melissa, Frances and Nick embark on an elite affair, with the foursome becoming increasingly entangled with each other.

Telling the story: The show, which airs on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer from May 15, follows two young students, Frances (Alison Oliver, left) and Bobbi (Sasha Lane, right)

Telling the story: The show, which airs on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer from May 15, follows two young students, Frances (Alison Oliver, left) and Bobbi (Sasha Lane, right)

Nick eventually reveals the affair to his wife, who accepts the relationship having had its own affairs, and Nick begins dating Frances openly within the group.

Eventually, Frances rekindles her romantic relationship with Bobbi and Nick, with the four continuing their attraction to each other despite the complexities.

Unlike the rest of the cast, little is known about the show’s lead role, Frances, played by up-and-coming talent Alison.

Sexy: The novel and the show are filled with racy moments that will have viewers' hearts racing and will likely follow in the footsteps of author Sally Normal People's 2020 series

Sexy: The novel and the show are filled with racy moments that will have viewers’ hearts racing and will likely follow in the footsteps of author Sally Normal People’s 2020 series

She will make her series debut after graduating from Lir Academy acting school in Dublin, Ireland.

The new series comes after the success of Rooney’s 2018 novel Normal People, which was adapted into a hit TV series in 2020.

The show follows troubled lovers Connell and Marianne from their school days in Sligo to university at Trinity College Dublin as they navigate the difficulties of social and class dynamics in Ireland.

It is a success !  Normal People, which follows Marianne Sheridan [Daisy Edgar-Jones] and Connell Waldron [Paul Mescal]was BBC iPlayer's most popular series of the year in 2020

It is a success ! Normal People, which follows Marianne Sheridan [Daisy Edgar-Jones] and Connell Waldron [Paul Mescal]was BBC iPlayer’s most popular series of the year in 2020

The drama sees Marianne as a highly intelligent but misunderstood social outcast, while Connell is the star of school football and hugely popular among his peers.

Marianne and Connell’s bond is due to her mother working as a housekeeper at her family’s mansion, and a strange and indelible connection develops between them.

However, Connell is desperate to keep their blossoming relationship a secret due to Marianne’s lower social status at school.

However, the tables quickly turn when the duo continue their studies at Trinity College Dublin and Marianne is appreciated for her quirky ways and thoughtful ideas.

Unbelievable: Normal People viewers went wild for the Irish drama after all 12 episodes were released on BBC iPlayer

Unbelievable: Normal People viewers went wild for the Irish drama after all 12 episodes were released on BBC iPlayer

While Connell struggles to find a connection with anyone other than Marianne.

Their relationship is thwarted by sticky situations, other romances, and their own personal demons.

The coming-of-age novel is set in the mid-2000s in Ireland and tells how they overcame it.

Normal People was the most-watched show on BBC Three with over 23 million downloads worldwide and over 6.75 million devices watching the first episode. This makes it the channel’s most popular program.

Conversations with Friends airs on BBC Three in the UK, with all episodes available on iPlayer. It is available on Hulu in the US

Breathtaking performances: The show, based on Sally Rooney's best-selling second novel, follows troubled lovers Connell and Marianne from their school days in Sligo to Trinity College Dublin.

Breathtaking performances: The show, based on Sally Rooney’s best-selling second novel, follows troubled lovers Connell and Marianne from their school days in Sligo to Trinity College Dublin.

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