Coming full circle? When Conversations With Friends premiered via Hulu on Sunday, May 15, fans wondered if fan-favorite Normal People characters Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Connell (Paul Mescal) would make a special appearance in the series. However, the duo did not.
Both Hulu shows were adapted from books of the same name by author Sally Rooney. Normal People, which followed Marianne and Connell’s love story from their formative years to adulthood, premiered in April 2020. Conversations With Friends followed the story of a college student named Frances (Alison Oliver), who starts a torrid affair with actor Nick Conway (Joe Alwyn) while dealing with her lingering feelings for best friend Bobbi (Sasha Lane).
Speculation about whether Daisy and Paul would make a cameo appearance in Conversations With Friends came after the character of Marianne subtly appears in the novel. At one point in the book, Frances and Bobbi are sitting on campus discussing their friend Marianne’s recent trip to Brooklyn. While it’s never confirmed to be that Marianne, Connell coincidentally moves to New York at the end of Normal People. Fans of the book have chalked this up as a major Easter egg. However, the scene did not make it into the show.
Ahead of the Conversations With Friends premiere, newcomer Alison — who attended The Lir Academy in Dublin with Normal People‘s Paul — spoke with Us Weekly about the “pressure” she felt following up such a successful series.
“I think there’s pressure doing anything really. There’s so much to do in a job, and I feel so lucky to have a job in general, but this one in particular,” she explained. “It’s obviously such a beloved book, as is Normal People. But I think you can feel those things in the beginning. But once you start to rehearse and start shooting, you just get so wrapped up in our story, which is a different story to Normal People, and different characters. That I think once you kind of separate that and just kind of immerse yourself in the story that you were telling, it’s actually quite difficult to compare them as such.”
While they are wildly different shows, Alison said that Conversations With Friends director, Lenny Abrahamson, referred to their series as “Normal People’s cousin.” All in all, the actress is just grateful to have been a part of the show.
“I think it’s just so wonderful to get to be a part of the kind of Sally Rooney world and continue on her brilliant stories,” she gushed.
Conversations With Friends is now streaming on Hulu.