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Exclusive – Conversations with Friends director says it's Normal People's "cousin" and addresses Connell and Marianne cameo idea

Lenny Abrahamson is working on another Sally Rooney adaptation for BBC Three.

Normal People
Published: Wednesday, 24th March 2021 at 4:15 pm

After playing a huge part in the success of Normal People last year, director Lenny Abrahamson is now turning his attention to another Sally Rooney adaptation for BBC Three, Conversations with Friends.


The series is based on Rooney's debut novel and explores the relationships between four central characters, including college student Frances and the married author, Nick, with whom she begins an affair.

In many ways it is completely distinct from Normal People, but Abrahamson has revealed that there are some clear similarities between the two shows.

Speaking exclusively to at a virtual reunion Q&A event for Normal People, available to watch on Friday (26th March) on the Radio Times Facebook page, the director revealed that filming on the series would begin in five weeks, and that he would be taking a similar approach to his work on the previous show.

"We start filming in five weeks and I'm not sure when it's due to air," he said. "But we've described it as a kind of cousin to Normal People.

"It's still within that sort of... you can feel Sally's writing obviously, and there are similarities in how I'll approach this, although there are also differences. It's also 12 half-hour episodes [like Normal People], so there is some kind of continuity."

Normal People
BBC/Element Pictures/Hulu

Of course, despite those similarities, Normal People breakout stars Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones will not be appearing in the series, although Abrahamson joked that a cameo could be a good idea.

Asked if the shows would take place in the same universe, and if Marianne could appear in the background, Abrahamson responded, "Yes, that's perfect! And Connell could be some moping boy in the background, licking his pencil. Now we're talking, that's gold!"

More Marianne and Connell? We'd love to see it!


Tune in to our Normal People reunion Q&A on the Radio Times Facebook page at 7pm on Friday, 26th March.

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