If you looked at Joe Alwyn‘s Conversations With Friends, you’d see a group chat titled “The Tortured Man Club.”
This is the name that Joe and Paul Mescal‘s mutual friend chose for their WhatsApp group after Joe was cast in the upcoming Sally Rooney series. Joe told GQ that the moniker is “a reflection on Connell and Nick,” the actors’ respective characters in Normal People and Conversations With Friends.
Indeed, the actors portray some truly complicated characters. In Conversations With Friends, Nick is a married photographer who becomes romantically involved with a young poet, while Paul’s Connell struggles with communication, a problem that routinely jeopardizes his relationship with Daisy Edgar-Jones‘ Marianne.
But Joe said Paul isn’t as tortured as his Normal People character, Connell, calling him a “lovely guy.”
The two actors eventually met in real life while filming Conversations With Friends in Dublin, the gloomy backdrop for a majority of Sally’s novels.