‘The Girl From Plainville’: Colton Ryan Visited the Kmart Parking Lot Where Conrad Roy Died

Hulu’s miniseries, The Girl From Plainville, breathes new life into the case of Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy III. Roy died by suicide in 2014 after texting with Carter. She encouraged him to go forth with his plan to die. Now, in 2022, Colton Ryan joined The Girl From Plainville cast to depict Roy. And he even visited the spot where Roy died.

Colton Ryan joined ‘The Girl From Plainville’ cast as Conrad Roy III

Colton Ryan as Conrad Roy in 'The Girl From Plainville'
Colton Ryan as Conrad Roy | Steve Dietl/Hulu

The Girl From Plainville depicts what happened between Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy III leading up to his death. So, how did Conrad Roy die? He died by suicide after inhaling carbon monoxide fumes in a parked truck.

Prior to joining The Girl From Plainville cast, Colton Ryan played Connor Murphy in both the Broadway production and movie adaptation of Dear Evan Hansen. Dear Evan Hansen told the story of a young student who pretended to have a close relationship with a deceased student to get close to his family.

“I think you can already imagine what that phone call to my mother was like,” Ryan told Variety. “She sort of like, ‘Should I know something? Do I need to be worried?’ And I asked myself that same question. It’s just an introspective thing you start thinking, like, what is it about me that I bring to this dark place?”

Colton Ryan visited the Kmart parking lot where Conrad Roy died

Elle Fanning as Michelle Carter putting flowers down where Conrad Roy died in 'The Girl From Plainville'
Elle Fanning as Michelle Carter | Steve Dietl/Hulu

After joining The Girl From Plainville cast, Colton Ryan did his research on Conrad Roy. According to Variety, Ryan spoke to a member of the Roy family while prepping for his role. He didn’t elaborate on the experience. He also traveled to Fairhaven, Massachusetts, where Roy lived. Ryan went to the Kmart parking lot where Roy parked the truck and died as well.

“It felt really like, sort of symbolic,” Ryan explained. “It’s dark, but the Kmart that is featured so much, it’s gone. Kmarts are gone. There is a finish to it. There’s a Tractor Supply Store now. I sat there and tried to open myself up.”

MassLive rehashes the texts between Roy and Michelle Carter where Carter encourages Roy to go driving in his truck to die by suicide. “Just go somewhere in your truck and no one is really out there right now because it’s an awkward time,” Carter texted him. “If you don’t do it now you’re never gonna do it, and you can say you’ll do it tomorrow but you probably won’t.”

‘The Girl From Plainville’ cast wanted to remain sensitive to Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy’s text exchanges

Elle Fanning as Michelle Carter and and Colton Ryan as Conrad Roy holding hands face to face in 'The Girl From Plainville'
Elle Fanning as Michelle Carter and Colton Ryan as Conrad Roy | Steve Dietl/Hulu

While Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy’s text exchanges are public, The Girl From Plainville cast wanted to remain sensitive to the content.

“It ultimately ends in such a tragedy, and these [families] are still alive, and we have to be sensitive to them,” Elle Fanning told Entertainment Weekly. “So it had to be told in the right way that could actually be helpful, and possibly help someone out there who’s suffering, while not trying to sensationalize suicide, like a lot of shows do.”

“As an actor, those texts are bible,” Colton Ryan added. “There’s no subtext in texting, as I learned. There’s only the way you receive it because texting is a lot of id. …  And working with Elle on those, I think we both felt a similar thrill because this is a very grounded, naturalistic show that also has all these fantasy sequences that, quite honestly, I think the heightened parts, the fantasy, are the more honest insights into Michelle and Coco.”

How to get help: In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to 741-741 to speak with a trained crisis counselor at the free Crisis Text Line.

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