share

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

I had never heard of Sally Rooney

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin


Jemima Kirke didn’t know who trendy author Sally Rooney was before she landed her starring role in the Hulu series “Conversations with Friends.” 

“I had never heard of her. I looked into the hype before I got the job, and sort of understood what her place in creating the zeitgeist was,” Kirke, 37, told The Post.

“It was interesting for me to read, coming from a time when [‘Girls’ co-star and creator Lena Dunham] was a big part of the [conversation], which was now 10 years ago – which is crazy.” 

Now streaming and based on the 2017 Rooney novel of the same name, the drama series, set in Dublin, follows Frances (Alison Oliver) and Bobbi (Sasha Lane), two college-aged ex-girlfriends (and current friends) who perform spoken-word poetry together in local bars. When they meet Melissa (Kirke), a successful writer who’s about a decade older, she compliments their work and they exchange phone numbers. Soon enough, Frances and Bobbi become entwined in Melissa’s life with her husband, Nick (Joe Alwyn), an actor of middling success, and this leads to an affair between Frances and Nick. 

Jemima Kirke looks pensive sitting in a bar.
Jemima Kirke as Melissa, a hotshot writer, in “Conversations with Friends.”
HULU
Bobbi (Sasha Lane), left, and Frances (Alison Oliver) right, are college aged ex girlfriends hugging.
Bobbi (Sasha Lane), left, and Frances (Alison Oliver) right, are college aged ex girlfriends.
HULU
Bobbi (Sasha Lane) and Frances (Alison Oliver) with Melissa (Jemima Kirke).
Bobbi (Sasha Lane) and Frances (Alison Oliver) with Melissa (Jemima Kirke).
HULU

“I was impressed with how realistic of a person this character was,” said Kirke. “Realism isn’t something that I value, necessarily, in any piece of artwork. I think it’s a style … that was something that I haven’t touched that much in my career. Everyone is enigmatic, to a degree, when you get to know them. But it’s rare to find a script that allows you to show that.”

Irish author Rooney, 31, published “Conversations with Friends” and her hit “Normal People” (which is also a Hulu series, starring Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal) when she was in her 20s, and was lauded by the media as the voice of her generation. So, when Kirke started learning about her, her place in the culture felt familiar, the “Girls” star said.

“I see similarities with the pedestal that [Rooney and Dunham] are being held on, and to the neurosis of being that age,” she said. “But the context has obviously changed because the times have changed … I think they both have been given a giant responsibility that they didn’t necessarily ask for. They’re just making stuff.”

Jemima Kirke smiles and works in a kitchen.
Jemima Kirke as Melissa in “Conversations with Friends.”
HULU
Jemima Kirke embraces Joe Alwyn, smiling.
Melissa (Jemima Kirke) and Nick (Joe Alwyn) are a complicated couple on “Conversations with Friends.”
HULU
Frances (Alison Oliver) and Nick (Joe Alwyn) have an affair on "Conversations with Friends."
Frances (Alison Oliver) and Nick (Joe Alwyn) have an affair on “Conversations with Friends.”
HULU

In “Conversations with Friends,” Melissa decides to stay with Nick after she learns about the affair, and she also decides to accept it, since he struggles with depression and [the affair] seems to be having a positive impact on his mental health. 

“I think the thing I found the most relatable [about Melissa] was the rejection of being a victim,” said Kirke. “And I don’t think that’s necessarily a strength. I think it can be a weakness to insist that you are not hurt, and in fact, you’re fine. I think that’s a way of perfecting yourself and not having difficult emotions, to make something okay that you really don’t feel okay with.” 

The cast of "Conversations with Friends" looks moody standing on a seaside rock: Melissa (Jemima Kirke), Bobbi (Sasha Lane), Frances (Alison Oliver) and Nick (Joe Alwyn).
Melissa (Jemima Kirke), Bobbi (Sasha Lane), Frances (Alison Oliver) and Nick (Joe Alwyn).
HULU
Jemima Kirke stands at a podium in front of a crowd, smiling.
Melissa (Jemima Kirke) is a successful writer on “Conversations with Friends.”
HULU

The series leaves the couple on an ambiguous note, but Kirke has an idea about their future.

“I think it can [work out between them long term]. To my mind, an affair is not necessarily criteria for a breakup,” she said. “It can be. It depends. Everything is in the details. It’s definitely criteria for a redesign of the relationship, or a look at each other and one’s self. But it’s not enough to say that the relationship is not worth it. It’s enough to feel so hurt that you want to leave, but, you might be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.” 



Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *