Jemima Kirke didn’t know who trendy author Sally Rooney was until she landed her starring role on the Hulu series Conversations with Friends.
“I had never heard of her. I looked at the hype before I got the job and kind of understood what her role in creating the zeitgeist was,” Kirke, 37, told The Post.
“It was interesting for me to read as it comes from a time when [‘Girls’ co-star and creator Lena Dunham] was a big part of [conversation]that was 10 years ago now – which is crazy.”
The now-streaming drama series, based on Rooney’s 2017 novel of the same name, follows Frances (Alison Oliver) and Bobbi (Sasha Lane) in Dublin, two college-age ex-girlfriends (and current girlfriends) who are perform spoken-word poetry together in local bars. When they meet Melissa (Kirke), a successful author about a decade older, she compliments them on their work and they exchange phone numbers. Frances and Bobbi soon find themselves entangled in Melissa’s life with her mediocre actor husband, Nick (Joe Alwyn), and this leads to an affair between Frances and Nick.
“I was struck by how realistic this character was,” said Kirke. “Realism is something I don’t necessarily appreciate in a work of art. I think it’s a style… that was something I didn’t touch that much in my career. Everyone is mysterious to some degree when you get to know them. But it’s rare to find a script that can show that.”
Irish author Rooney, 31, published “Conversations with Friends” and her hit “Normal People” (also a Hulu series starring Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal) when she was in her 20s and was widely recognized by the media as such praised the voice of their generation. As Kirke began to learn about her, her place in the culture felt familiar, the Girls star said.
“I see similarities with the podium [Rooney and Dunham] being held and the neurosis of being that age,” she said. “But obviously the context has changed because times have changed… I think they’ve both been given a huge responsibility that they didn’t necessarily ask for. They just make stuff.”
In “Conversations with Friends” Melissa decides to stay with Nick after finding out about the affair and she also decides to accept it as he struggles with depression and depression [the affair] appears to be having a positive impact on his mental health.
“I think that’s what I found most relatable [about Melissa] was the refusal to be a victim,” said Kirke. “And I don’t think that’s necessarily a strength. I think it can be a weakness to insist you are not hurt and in fact you are fine. I think that’s a way to perfect yourself and not have difficult emotions to fix something you’re really uncomfortable with.”
The series leaves the couple ambiguous, but Kirke has an idea about their future.
“I think it can [work out between them long term]. In my opinion, having an affair isn’t necessarily a criterion for separation,” she said. “It can be. It depends. It’s all in the details. It’s definitely criteria for a reconfiguration of the relationship, or a look at each other and at yourself. But it’s not enough to say that the relationship isn’t changing It’s enough to feel hurt enough to want to leave, but you might be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.”
https://nypost.com/2022/05/20/conversations-with-friends-star-jemima-kirke-i-had-never-heard-of-sally-rooney/ I had never heard of Sally Rooney