LIFE & CULTURE

Elle Fanning Is An Eerie Doppelgänger Of Michelle Carter In ‘The Girl From Plainville’ Trailer

A harrowing watch.

Trigger warning: This article discusses suicide and might be triggering for some readers. 

For true crime fans, there’s clearly been an abundance of onscreen offerings documenting their lives, wrongdoings and subsequent consequences.

If you’ve, like us, have already binge-watched Inventing Anna and the Tinder Swindler, then you’re surely ready to feast your eyes on more dramatic storytelling.

Enter: The Girl From Plainville.

The limited series will follow the true story of the notorious Michelle Carter and the ‘texting-suicide’ scandal that saw the death of friend, Conrad Roy III. If the story rings a bell, then that’s because Carter’s trial was all anyone could talk about back in 2017.

As for the show itself, The Girl From Plainville is based on an article by Esquire journalist Jesse Barron. In the series, a character of the same name will “explore Carter’s relationship with Conrad Roy III and the events that led to his death, and later, her conviction”, according to an official synopsis from Stan.

“The series examines the impact that technology, social media and pop culture has on young people’s mental health and how it can be truly damaging.”

Curious? Below, everything you need to know about The Girl From Plainville and the real life case of Michelle Carter—from the plot and cast to where you can watch in Australia.

What Is The True Story Behind Michelle Carter And The Girl From Plainville?

The downfall of Michelle Carter began in 2014 when the 17-year-old’s late friend, Roy III, was found dead in Plainville, Massachusetts.

The pair met in Naples, Florida two years prior, but only saw each other in person a total of five times. Throughout their relationship, the two kept in touch with each other through phone calls, emails and text messages, according to The New York Times.

Following his death, their text messages were recovered by the state government’s police investigation. In the conversations, officials discovered 317 pages of communication with detailed and unsettling messages from Carter.

On June 29, 2014, Roy confided in Carter about wanting to end his life, to which she began to reportedly suggest ways that he could do so.

“I thought you wanted to do this. The time is right and you’re ready, you just need to do it! You can’t keep living this way,” a text message from Carter read, as per CNN.

“You better not be bullshitting me and saying you’re gonna do this and then purposely get caught,” Carter wrote in another message, adding that she’d want to be known as his girlfriend after he died.

Michelle Carter
(Credit: Getty Images)

By July 12 of the same year, Roy and Carter spoke on the phone twice before Roy was found dead from carbon-monoxide poisoning, in his truck that was parked in a remote spot in a Kmart parking lot, as per The New York Times.

Two months after his passing, Carter texted her friend Samantha Boardman with what seemed to be a confession to the crime.

“I could have stopped him. I was on the phone with him and he got out of the car because it was working and he got scared and I f–king told him to get back in,” Carter wrote.

“I could of stopped him but I f–king didnt. All I had to say was I love you.”

In February 2015, Carter was indicted for involuntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum 20-year sentence. When the case back in 2017, she refused to involve a jury and by August 3, she was sentenced to 15 months in prison. By 2020, a 23-year-old Carter was released after less than a year and is currently serving five years of probation, according to ABC News.

Of course, the premise of The Girl From Plainville will follow the crime and subsequent trial of Carter.

WATCH BELOW: The Girl From Plainville Official Trailer

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Who Is Cast In The Girl From Plainville?

From even one glance at the trailer or promotional photos, it’s easy to figure out that Elle Fanning (The Great) will be taking on the role of Carter. And from our first look, Fanning shares an eerie resemblance to her real-life character.

Alongside Fanning, Colton Ryan (Dear Evan Hansen) will play the late Conrad Roy III; Chloë Sevigny (American Psycho) will star as Conrad’s mother, Lynn Roy; and Norbert Leo Butz (Bloodline) will portray his father, Conrad Roy II. Cara Buono (Stranger Things) and Kai Lennox (Beginners) play Michelle’s parents, Gail and David Carter, respectively.

As for Fanning, she serves an executive producer on the show and has spoken out about how she’s wanted to tell the story in a very sensitive manner.

“She did not want this to feel sensational,” showrunner Patrick Macmanus revealed to 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.

Michelle Carter
(Credit: Entertainment Weekly)

“The first time that I met [Fanning], I was really struck by how eerily similar [she and Carter] actually looked just naturally,” he said, adding, “It was something that around the table when we all met, we all talked about.”

For Fanning’s transformation into Carter, she donned a wig, some “light makeup” and a prosthetic forehead to push back her hairline, as per Entertainment Weekly.

“The physicality that Elle found in playing Michelle—she studied all of the courtroom tapes, she studied the documentary [HBO’s I Love You, Now Die]—she really threw herself into making sure that the movement and the way she spoke was authentic, as well,” co-showrunner Liz Hannah told the publication.

“So I think that in tandem with the change physically really brings it all together.”

Where Can We Watch The Girl From Plainville In Australia?

Intrigued? Thankfully, there won’t be a long wait for it to hit our screens. The Girl From Plainville is set to premiere in Australia on March 30, only on Stan.

If you or someone you know needs help you can call Lifeline on 131 114 or Beyondblue 1300 224 636.

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