'The Girl From Plainville'
Source: Hulu

Cara Buono Created a "Fictionalized" Version of Michelle Carter's Mother in 'The Girl From Plainville' (EXCLUSIVE)

Gabrielle Bernardini - Author
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Mar. 28 2022, Published 4:55 p.m. ET

Hulu's true-crime scripted series The Girl From Plainville is inspired by the real-life text-suicide case and trial of then-teenager Michelle Carter. She was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after exchanging incriminating messages with her boyfriend Conrad Roy III, who died by suicide.

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However, unlike the original coverage of the high-profile trial, the Hulu series — which is based on the Esquire article by Jesse Barron — takes a closer look at the lives of both troubled teens leading up to Conrad's tragic death and how the media painted Michelle as the villain.

Ahead of the release of The Girl From Plainville, Distractify spoke exclusively with Cara Buono, who plays Michelle's mother, Gail Carter, about how the eight-episode series highlights the "gray areas" in this story and more.

'The Girl From Plainville'
Source: Hulu
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Cara Buono opened up about portraying Michelle Carter's mother in 'The Girl From Plainville.'

Not every story is simply black-and-white. The Girl From Plainville examines not only the relationship between Conrad and Michelle but also the lives of their families and the psyches of both troubled teens.

Though Cara was already "familiar with the story," what drew her to this particular true-crime series were "the depths that [the project] went to explore the complexity of all the characters and peel back the layers" of how this tragedy occurred.

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Because Michelle's mother, Gail, never gave interviews to the press, the team had to create a "fictionalized version" of who she might be. Therefore, Cara leaned on the idea of Gail attempting but failing — like many parents — to fully understand and connect with her daughter.

'The Girl From Plainville'
Source: Hulu
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"You think you know what's going on with your kid. ... It's the biggest realization of your worst-case scenario, I mean that her daughter's complicit and the reality, the reality that she's complicit in [Conrad's] death," Cara told us. "I think for me, it was, we were trying to create ... a woman who was trying, but not successful in connecting with her daughter."

Aside from exploring family dynamics, the series addresses mental health issues, relationships on social media, bullying, and more.

Cara Buono spoke about why she would not have wanted to talk to the real-life Gail Carter.

Since the Carter family has been relatively quiet following their daughter's 2017 conviction, it's not surprising that the cast was not able to pick their real-life counterparts' brains.

Cara told Distractify that she doesn't think she would have sought out Gail and asked her questions in this scenario. "It's one thing if you're portraying, say the mother of an Olympic athlete or something like that," she said.

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'The Girl From Plainville'
Source: Hulu

"I feel there was a great responsibility and dealing with the issues and the themes of the story, the greater issues of sort of mental health, social media responsibility," she continued. "I almost feel I wouldn't have approached her and asked [given] the sensitivity of the subject matter."

The Girl From Plainville premieres on March 29 on Hulu.

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