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Actor Elle Fanning, who portrays Michelle Carter in the upcoming Hulu series “The Girl From Plainville,” hopes that the depiction will shed new light on the case.
“For us, it was looking at the case in a different light and in a more of an unbiased way,” Fanning said on “Good Morning America” on Wednesday.
She said that the media had portrayed the high profile case in a “one-dimensional way, focusing on Carter as a “black widow manipulator” without revealing all the nuances involved.
“Everyone definitely had an opinion about this case,” Fanning said. “It definitely shocked the nation and we wanted to dig deeper and look at more sides to it.”
Carter, now 25, was sentenced to serve 15 months after being convicted in 2017 of involuntary manslaughter in the 2014 death of her boyfriend Conrad Roy III. A judge determined that Carter, who was 17 at the time, was culpable in 18-year-old Roy's suicide after she encouraged him to die by suicide in text messages, as well as telling him in a phone call to get back in his truck, which was filling up with carbon monoxide. She was released in January of 2020 on good behavior after appealing her conviction to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The series is based primarily on Jesse Barron’s 2017 Esquire article of the same name, which offered one of the more nuanced and detailed takes on the case at the time. The complications of the case, and Carter’s black widow characterization in the media, was then critiqued in the 2019 documentary “I Love You, Now Die,” which Barron was a part of.
Fanning told “Good Morning America” that she and the makers of the show did their best to not “sensationalize” the case.
“To play a character, especially a real person, obviously you want to approach this story with sensitivity,” Fanning said. “I felt a great deal of responsibility because obviously these people, they are still alive and a life was lost. But at the same time, I am playing a character and you can’t judge a character that you play. You don’t have to agree with the decisions they made or necessarily like them but I think I have to come at it with an understanding.”
“The Girl From Plainville” debuts on March 29.
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