See Elle Fanning as Michelle Carter in "The Girl From Plainville"
Elle Fanning stars as Michelle Carter in Hulu's "The Girl From Plainville." The true-crime series is based on Michelle, the Massachusetts teen who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the unprecedented "texting suicide" case of her boyfriend Conrad Roy (Colton Ryan). During her 2017 trial, Michelle was sentenced to two and a half years in prison, though she was released after 12 months for good behavior.
"There's a real version of her and also what the media did to her, that really villainized her in a way," Fanning told Deadline about stepping into Michelle's shoes for the show, noting: "You can't judge. Part of the reason why I like being an actor . . . is exploring the psychology behind, Michelle in this case, what could bring her to do the things that she did."
"There's a real version of her and also what the media did to her, that really villainized her in a way."
Fanning added: "I felt very close to her and the young people in this story. . . . We're seeing the effects of this now, and how modern this story truly is and how that affects your mental health (which) was something, I wanted to dive into."
Fanning and Ryan star alongside Chloë Sevigny, who plays Conrad's mother, Lynn Roy, and Norbert Leo Butz, who portrays Conrad's father, Conrad Roy II. Also in the cast are Cara Buono and Kai Lennox, who play Michelle's parents, Gail and David Carter. In addition to starring as Michelle, Fanning is also an executive producer on the series.
"She did not want this to feel sensational," Patrick Macmanus, who serves as a writer, executive producer, and co-showrunner on the show, told Entertainment Weekly. "She wanted it to be an honest portrayal of not just these families and what they went through, but from what people are going through in general on a day-to-day basis when it comes to their mental health." In order to ensure an accurate portrayal of mental illness, the show's crew enlisted the consulting help of the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention and the National Eating Disorders Association.
Ahead of the show's March 29 premiere, take a look at photos of Fanning side by side with Michelle.