Last April, BBC Three series Normal People took the nation by storm, with the on-off romance between Marianne and Connell capturing the hearts of millions of viewers around the country.
Almost a year on, stars Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones and director Lenny Abrahamson have reunited for a special Q&A for RadioTimes.com, and during the pre-recorded discussion they speculated about where their characters might be now.
“I feel like it’s such a beautiful ending and it’s so colourful. It’s incredibly sad yet it feels like the totally correct thing to do from my perspective,” Mescal said of the show’s final moments, in which Connell is offered a place on a masters course in New York.
“I remember we talked about that a huge amount when we were filming. I think Connell is in New York, and as much as he should go, I don’t think he’s well equipped for that territory.
“I feel like he’s talented enough to start making inroads over there, but I feel like there’s probably an intensely isolated feeling going on in this imagined moment in time.”
Edgar-Jones, on the other hand, joked that Marianne might have gone in another direction entirely.
“I don’t know, I wonder if Marianne is doing something really out of character like she’s working in Ibiza,” she joked – prompting much hilarity from Mescal and Abrahamson, before offering an alternative suggestion.
“I love that final scene,” she said. “I think it’s one of my favourites in the whole series and it’s crazy because we filmed that just before lockdown, so it’s just wild.
“I think when Marianne is in that scene she has sort of just discovered that she’s happy where she is, so it’s kind of a fragile feeling. So I guess she stays and I think perhaps she’s just feeling out what it is to feel OK, and maybe gets a job somewhere and keeps learning. Maybe she goes and hangs out with Lorraine (Connell’s mum) a bit.”
Abrahamson has previously talked about revisiting the characters for a future show in around 10 years time, to see what directions their lives have taken, and during the Q&A he reiterated that desire.
“If my knees are up to it, I would still love to do that,” he says. “I mean, it feels like they’re so real and there’s so much richness that sits there having told that story.”
He continued that although there were no updates or any concrete plans, he reckons each of them have “pondered where might they be.”
“Does Marianne join Connell in New York, how does that happen, what does that feel like if she does? Or does he come back, or are they with other people and connect again much later in life?” he said.
“I think all sorts of questions arise and plus we’d love to know what happens to some of the other characters in the intervening years. Who knows, I think we’d all see where we were in the future and it’s fun to imagine anyway, whatever comes of it.”