Conversations With Friends cast includes Taylor Swift's boyfriend Joe Alwyn

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Left-right: Alison Oliver, Jemima Kirke, Joe Alwyn, Sasha Lane

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The cast for the hotly-anticipated TV adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel Conversations With Friends has been announced, with Joe Alwyn, Taylor Swift’s boyfriend, among the line-up.

Conversations With Friends will follow last year’s hit Normal People, which was also adapted from a Rooney novel.

And like Normal People, the follow-up is set in Dublin, made by BBC Three and Hulu, and could make stars of its cast.

The story follows the tangled relationships of four friends.

Find out about the rising stars who will play them:

Joe Alwyn

Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn in October 2019

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The 29-year-old Londoner has appeared in films like Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, The Favourite, Mary Queen of Scots and Harriet, and played Bob Cratchit in the 2019 BBC adaptation of A Christmas Carol.

His acting career is really taking off… but you might still know him best as Taylor Swift’s other half, the assumed inspiration for her song London Boy, and the co-writer on her latest album Folklore.

In Conversations With Friends, he will play Nick, a “handsome but reserved actor” who has an intense, secret affair with Frances, played by…

Alison Oliver

Alison Oliver

This newcomer went to the same drama school as Normal People star Paul Mescal, The Lir Academy in Dublin.

And Conversations With Friends could give her a similarly stratospheric rise, because 21-year-old college student Frances is the story’s central character.

Oliver herself graduated last year and has only one professional credit to her name since then – in a socially-distanced theatre two-hander to an audience of 10 in Dublin last summer.

Sasha Lane

Sasha Lane

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This 25-year-old US actress knows a thing or two about being plucked from obscurity. At the age of 19, she was spotted while sunbathing on a Florida beach by British director Andrea Arnold, who cast her in the lead role of her award-winning 2016 film American Honey opposite Shia LaBeouf.

Since then, Lane has appeared in The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Hellboy and the American remake of British TV drama Utopia.

She will play Frances’ ex-girlfriend and now best friend, the “self-assured, outspoken and compelling” Bobbi.

Jemima Kirke

Jemima Kirke

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Kirke is known for playing Jessa in her childhood friend Lena Dunham’s series Girls, and has joined the cast of the forthcoming third season of Netflix comedy Sex Education as the new headmistress.

The 35-year-old will star in Conversations With Friends as Nick’s wife Melissa, a writer who is fascinated by Frances and Bobbi.

Short presentational grey line

The 12-part series will be filmed later this year by director Lenny Abrahamson, who also made Normal People.

Piers Wenger, director of BBC Drama, said: “Lenny’s deep affinity for Sally’s writing and talent for finding actors to bring her fictional creations to life played a huge part in bringing Normal People so successfully to screen.

“In casting Alison, Sasha, Joe and Jemima, that same flair and instinct is in evidence and we can’t wait to see how they will bring Frances, Bobbi, Nick and Melissa to life.”