Actor Joe Alwyn has made a name for himself at the Cannes film festival. In 2018, he took home the Trophée Chopard. He’s hoping that he can replicate his success with Claire Denis’ “Stars At Noon,” based on the novel by Denis Johnson.
While he was there, he also talked to Deadline about his role in the Hulu series “Conversations with Friends,” which is based on the book by Sally Rooney. The steamy series debuted on May 15 and has been met with critical acclaim.
Joe Alwyn Compares Himself To ‘Conversations With Friends’ Character Nick Conway
In the show, Alwyn plays a married actor named Nick Conway who begins to have an affair with a woman named Francis, who is ten years his junior.
Alwyn said that, when audiences first meet Nick, he’s someone who is “in a point of recovery” and “has come through a bit of a storm.” He described Nick as “a married man who is slightly numb to the world, and just functioning.”
Nick described the plot of the series, saying, “He embarks on this affair with a woman who’s about 10 years younger than him. It’s about the relationships between him and his wife and also this girl called Francis. He’s also quite aloof actually, but he’s someone coming back to life a bit.”
When asked if Alwyn ever compared his own acting career with Nick’s, Alwyn replied, “I don’t know if I thought about specifics of what his career might have been or what he would’ve done comparatively to mine, but certainly he’s a character who has had ups and downs, and he’s also struggling with mental health, and that’s been formed probably by many things, including his job.”
Alwyn continued, “I think I can relate to the strangeness of the job and the ups and downs of it and how it can be the best thing and also something tough to navigate. So, although I don’t know the specifics of how our careers might be different, I felt like I could relate to him on the level of understanding, how strange it is to dress up and pretend to be someone for a living and all the weirdness that comes with just trying to do it as a job.”
Joe Alwyn Talks Working With Director Lenny Abrahamson
The series was directed by Lenny Abrahamson, who Alwyn described as “truly brilliant” and “an incredible” director. He said that it was an “amazing” experience to work with Abrahamson on set.
“He’s very detailed in the way he works, interrogating the material, almost beat by beat and looking to mine each moment for what might be there in a very subtle way,” Alwyn explained. “But he’s never overbearing in doing so and he’s also very collaborative.”
He praised Abrahamson’s style as “very naturalistic, very subtle, very intimate worlds that he creates, obviously most recently with Normal People, but in plenty of his other work as well.”
“It feels very grounded and very real, and very much about what’s not said as much as what is said,” he continued. “And also, just as a person, he’s the nicest man in the world. Hilarious and just a great friend.”
Before he got started with the series, Alwyn admitted to reading the book when it was first released. He confessed to being a fan of Sally Rooney’s books and also admitted to reading “Normal People” when it came out, before it was made into a series.
“So, both books I was a big fan of,” Alwyn explained. “Then I saw what they had done with Normal People and was also a big fan of Lenny Abrahamson who made Normal People, so the chance to be a part of his world and his mind and Sally Rooney’s world and her mind combined was really exciting.”
“Conversations with Friends” is currently available to stream on Hulu.