Conversations With Friends star Jemima Kirke admits she absolutely hated sea swimming scenes: ‘Hardest thing I’ve ever had to do’

Jemima found the scenes incredibly difficult (Picture: BBC/Element Pictures/Enda Bowe)

But the cast recently revealed it was ‘freezing’ and was also something Jemima really didn’t want to do.


Chatting at the premiere of the series earlier this month, Jemima admitted she became ‘obsessed’ with knowing she’d have to swim in the sea, and not in a good way.

Bobbi actress Sasha began: ‘[The sea] was freezing and people told us, “Oh, it’s good for you and good for your muscles and your energy,” and you go in for 30 seconds or a minute, but we’re filming. That means Lenny [Abrahamson, director] said, “Can you give me 10 more minutes?” 

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‘I was doggy paddling, I can’t last that long!’

The Sex Education star weighed in with just how in her head she got about the scene, sharing: ‘It was something I was obsessed with? When we started shooting, I couldn’t stop thinking about it, we were gonna be doing this

‘I had questions every day. “When does it start? Are we really gonna do it. Maybe it’s going to get cut? Will we wear wetsuits?”

‘No wetsuits, no nothing, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,’ she admitted.

Melissa and Bobbi enjoy a flirtation (Picture: BBC/Element Pictures/Hulu/Enda Bowe)

She went on to explain how the three women had to carry out ‘practice’ sessions to check they could swim in the Northern Irish capital.

‘What really added insult to injury was a week or two before we were asked to practice right and to go into the water in Belfast which was worse. It wasn’t practice, it was to see if we could swim. I just thought, “there’s not even a f***ing camera.”

‘I got in the water, I got out. The stunt coordinator came and got me and he said I had to go back in which was even worse. He basically dragged me back in,’ she revealed.

Her co-star Alison praised Sasha’s willingness to ‘throw herself into’ the scenes while noting the stunt coordinator wouldn’t let them leave ‘until Jemima got in the water’.

Jemima also teased a bit about what fans will see from her character as the series progresses, as she’s slightly less present in the first few episodes.

She added: ‘We don’t get to see as much of Melissa as we do the other characters, and that’s obviously because Frances doesn’t spend as much time with her. 

‘It’s easy to see Melissa as not one dimensional, but less dimensional. It was just important to me to bring out some of her vulnerabilities because there’s so few of them in the book, or that are expressed.’

The Girls star concluded: ‘It was so hard to understand what’s really [Melissa] and what’s really Frances’ view of her.’

Conversations With Friends can be streamed in full on BBC iPlayer now.

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