Joe Alwyn and Alison Oliver say they're both a huge fan of Sally Rooney

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Joe Alwyn and Alison Oliver say they're both a huge fan of Sally Rooney

There are only two types of readers in the world: those who love Irish author Sally Rooney and those who hate her.

The stars of Hulu's and BBC's Conversations with Friends, a show based on Rooney's bestselling novel of the same name, belong to the former camp.

Before they were offered the series lead roles, Joe Alwyn and Alison Oliver said they were both huge fans of Rooney - who is best known for her spare, accessible prose that often tackles stories about messy relationships. After reading Rooney's books, cast members Jemima Kirke and Sasha Lane became devoted followers as well.

Alwyn said that I never felt that the book tied things up, because I liked that, and that was the case with Rooney's debut novel. And more so with the series, there is acceptance of the complexity of it all that will keep on going. Conversations with Friends, which premieres on Hulu on Sunday, follows two female college students Frances and Bobbi Oliver and Lane whose lives unexpectedly become linked with an older married couple Nick and Melissa Alwyn and Kirke. The highly anticipated series is a follow-up to Hulu's first Rooney film, Normal People, which was released in 2020 to critical acclaim.

Kirke learned that there were so many different ways to be in love with each other because of the complicated web of relationships between all the characters, particularly that of Frances and Nick who begin an extramarital affair. It doesn't have to look like any one thing. Kirke said it can be unconventional. It's true that love is supposed to create an intense feeling in you that we all enjoy. She continued: Love makes all of these emotions feel like an array of colors, and I think there is nothing wrong with being in the wrong relationship sometimes. There is nothing wrong with struggling through a relationship and staying, and thinking it might just be worth it. Despite Frances and Nick being in fragile places, the two are still able to find solace with each other's company, Oliver said of her character's actions.

Oliver said there is a similarity in how they interact with the world. They are both more introverted in their pairings and are used to being in the back seat a bit more often in their relationships. Like other main characters, Nick can be complex and contradictory and brilliant but also flawed, according to Alwyn, which is exactly why the actor was attracted to the role in the first place.

Alwyn said that it was fun to flesh out every nook and cranny of his character because Nick is aloof and not great at communication.

Lane — who plays Bobbi, Frances' ex-girlfriend who also grows closer to Nick's wife, Melissa — said the show emphasizes that people can't always judge a book, or an affair, by its cover.

Everything is just a little bit more complicated than it seems. Lane said that there was a relationship and love.