2. Sasha Lane as Bobbi. Grade: A
Lane was phenomenal in her breakout role in American Honey, as well as in the 2018 queer coming-of-age film The Miseducation of Cameron Post, and she pretty objectively possesses the ineffable cool-girl quality that Rooney imbues Bobbi with. Also of note: Lane identifies as gay, which means Bobbi—a lesbian character—will actually be portrayed by an actor who shares her sexuality. Many of us crossed our fingers for this when news of the show was announced back in May, and it’s exciting to see Hulu actually deliver.
3. Joe Alwyn as Nick. Grade: C-
I have nothing but respect for The Favourite star and Taylor Swift boyfriend Alwyn, but he doesn’t quite appear to possess the sexy/sad aura that distinguishes Nick in Rooney’s novel. Is it nuts that I sort of hoped to see Chris Messina (or, at least, a rumpled, sleepy-hot Chris Messina type) in this role? Maybe he’s a little too old to be wooing Frances, but the age difference is very much a crux of Conversations with Friends, so it could theoretically work. Also, I just don’t picture Nick blond. Sorry!
4. Jemima Kirke as Melissa. Grade: A-
Okay, literally yes. Kirke possesses the exact mix of warmth and hauteur that makes Melissa’s character such a cipher, and I cannot wait to see her snubbing people left and right at an Italian vacation home. My only reasoning for grading this casting choice an “A-” rather than a flat-out A? It’s too hard for me to disentangle Kirke from her career-making role as Jessa on Girls, but I’m sure she’ll step into this new role with aplomb. Then again, as Vulture pointed out, she’s not really Irish (nor are Alwyn or Lane), so we’ll see.