You may know her best from her childhood roles in Super 8 and Maleficent, or as the lively Catherine the Great in the “anti-historical” comedy The Great, but Elle Fanning‘s latest acting endeavour is bringing her into darker waters.
In the upcoming drama miniseries The Girl from Plainville, Fanning plays the real-life Michelle Carter, now infamous for her role in the 2014 “texting suicide” case.
When Carter was 17, she drove her boyfriend Conrad Roy III, 18, to suicide through a series of text messages.
Just before his death, Carter texted Roy to “get back in” after he left his vehicle as it filled with carbon monoxide gas. She was convicted and sentenced to 15 months behind bars for involuntary manslaughter after a judged ruled that her words constituted “wanton and reckless conduct.”
Carter was largely painted as a manipulator who craved attention when the media covered her trial. Fanning says that the cast wanted to inject more nuance into the story, as Carter was only a teenager at the time and struggling with her own mental health problems.
Fanning said that while she doesn’t need to like all of the characters she plays, she really got to understand Carter through the process of playing the role.
In a brief interview with Global News, Fanning discussed an interesting storytelling device that the show used to depict Carter and Roy’s almost totally online relationship, and how she brought the real-life character of Michelle Carter to the small screen.
(You can watch the interview in full, top.)
‘The Girl From Plainville’ will premiere on the W Network on Thursday, April 21 at 9 p.m.
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