Alice Birch Interview: ‘Normal People’ writer
“I’ve heard that and I have to pause and think about it and go back and read that last chapter,” says “Normal People” screenwriter and associate producer Alice Birch about the perception that the miniseries on Hulu ends more optimistically than the source material. “We were always trying to be true to the feeling of the book,” explains Birch in her exclusive interview with Gold Derby about adapting the novel of the same name alongside author Sally Rooney herself (watch the video above).
She qualifies, “It doesn’t feel like we changed anything, but I accept that maybe we can’t see it,” noting that her interpretation of the story’s ending is unchanged. “I still think that they’re not going to stay together,” laughs Birch about the relationship between characters Marianne Sheridan and Connell Waldron, as well as its portrayal by Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal.
Birch and Rooney share an Emmy Award nomination in the Best Movie/Limited Writing category for their script of the third episode. She explains the submission, “Episode 3 feels like one that we all really made together and it’s such a huge turn in their relationship and it’s the first time that we see Connell break down in that way and it always feels terribly sad to me, that one there — that they’re so far from each other and if they could get it together, then it would be different.” A two-time BAFTA Award nominee for her film work, Birch won a Best Drama Series trophy from the Writers Guild of America earlier this year as a story editor on the “Succession” writing staff.