Alison Oliver had to shoot that pivotal Conversations With Friends ending without Joe Alwyn
Conversations With Friends (TV series)
Warning: This post contains spoilers from Conversations With Friends.
It all ended with a phone call.
Throughout Conversations With Friends, viewers watched as Frances (Alison Oliver) and Nick (Joe Alwyn) met, fell in love, and tried to navigate their more-complicated-than-normal relationship, given that he still loves his wife, Melissa (Jemima Kirke), and Frances still loves her ex, Bobbi (Sasha Lane).
In the end, it looked like Nick and Frances were going to part ways. After the news that he slept with Melissa devastated Frances, she returned to Bobbi's arms. And yet, in the final moments of the series, an accidental phone call prompted Nick and Frances to reconnect. It was a crucial moment in their story — quite literally the last scene of the series — and it turns out, Alwyn wasn't even on set when Oliver filmed her side of it.
"There were a fair amount of phone calls [in the series]," Alwyn tells EW. "When we could, we'd be there on the phone for each other, which makes a difference."
But when it came time for the most important phone call, that wasn't possible. "We filmed that scene months and months apart," Alwyn says. "I filmed my side of that in week four or something and she was 20 feet away on the phone. And then when Alison had to shoot her side, we'd wrapped. I was on another film. So I think another actor had to read my lines on the phone for her."
Oliver adds, "We shot his side of the call in July, and I was outside the car. And then they wanted to do my side of the call actually at Christmas time because she's outside. So we did it as a pickup in December, but Joe was on another film then. So they had another actor come and do the lines with me."
But thankfully, Oliver says her many conversations with Alwyn prepared her for the moment regardless of who she read against. "Me and Joe had talked about that scene so much and I had such a relationship to it that I felt really excited to even be coming back to Frances, because we kind of wrapped in October," says Oliver. "So it felt kind of right coming back and doing the last scene. But yeah, there was no Joe when I was doing that."
Conversations With Friends is available now on Hulu.
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Joe Alwyn, Alison Oliver, Sasha Lane, and Jemima Kirke star in the Hulu adaptation of Sally Rooney's debut novel.