‘The Girl From Plainville’: Elle Fanning Didn’t Speak to the Real Michelle Carter Before Filming

Hulu’s miniseries, The Girl From Plainville, depicts the tragic tale of Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy III. Roy died by suicide in 2014 after a history of mental illness, and texts showed Carter seemingly encouraged him to go through with it. Elle Fanning plays Carter in the miniseries, and the actor explained why she didn’t reach out to Carter prior to filming.

How accurate is ‘The Girl From Plainville’? The story centers around Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy

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

The Hulu miniseries focuses on Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy’s relationship prior to his death. It gives Carter more backstory than those who focused on the criminal case likely learned before. And it also brings more humanity to her character, as the texts she sent Roy prior to his death made many followers wonder what she was really like in her day-to-day life.

So, how accurate is The Girl From Plainville? The series seems to portray the basic facts behind the case correctly. But MassLive reports there’s also some exaggeration. During the real-life trial in 2017, Assistant District Attorney Maryclare Flynn said Carter may have wanted attention and sympathy for Roy’s death. In the show, viewers can see this with Elle Fanning rehearsing speeches about grief and walking away from friends after the conversation turns away from Roy. It’s unclear if this actually happened.

Additionally, the show depicts Roy as slightly deranged in his video diaries. He didn’t appear this way in his real-life video diaries.

Elle Fanning explains why she didn’t speak to Michelle Carter before filming ‘The Girl From Plainville’

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

Elle Fanning plays Michelle Carter in The Girl From Plainville, and she heavily researched the case before taking it on. But she didn’t reach out to Carter prior to portraying her in the series.

According to Vanity Fair, Fanning had two weeks between wrapping up filming for The Great Season 2 and beginning work on The Girl From Plainville. While she considered reaching out to Carter, she didn’t feel it was appropriate to do so.

“There are a lot of answers [about Carter] that we don’t have,” Fanning explained. “That was the challenge … I think to play a character, you don’t necessarily have to like them, but you have to understand how they got from A to Z. In this case, A to Z happened over seven years of her life, and she physically transformed, and inside, she’s constantly having this tug of war with herself between fantasy and reality.”

Where is Michelle Carter now?

So, where is Michelle Carter in 2022? She served 12 out of her 15-month sentence in jail starting in 2019. She was able to get off early on Jan. 23, 2020, for good behavior. Esquire reports her probation ends on Aug. 1, 2022. For now, she’s staying completely out of the public eye. But once her probation ends, it’s unclear what her next steps entail.

Due to her parole, she can’t currently profit off of anything to do with her case. That could change in the future, though.

The Girl From Plainville streams on Hulu.

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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