The Girl From Plainville Cast: Where You've Seen The Actors Before

Colton Ryan and Elle Fanning on The Girl From Plainville
(Image credit: Hulu)

There has rarely been a true crime miniseries quite like The Girl from Plainville. Then again, there has rarely been a case quite like the one that inspired it. In 2017, Michelle Carter was convicted of the involuntary manslaughter of her 18-year-old boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, based on a series of text messages sent by her, encouraging him to take his own life.

The Hulu original, eight-part miniseries developed by Mindhunter producer Liz Hannah and Dr. Death creator Patrick Macmanus provides an in-depth, dramatized look at the events leading up to the trial that shocked the nation and set a new precedent for how provoking suicide is prosecuted and how words are scrutinized. The following is a breakdown of who is portraying who in the main The Girl from Plainville cast, starting with the titular lead.

Elle Fanning on The Girl From Plainville

(Image credit: Hulu)

Elle Fanning (Michelle Carter)

Playing Michelle Carter, whose historic manslaughter conviction inspired The Girl from Plainville, is Elle Fanning - who, at three years old, made her acting debut as a younger version of her sister, Dakota Fanning, in I Am Sam in 2001 before doing the same thing in the SyFy original miniseries Taken the following year. After smaller roles in the likes of Daddy Day Care and the Oscar-winning Babel, she landed her first lead role in 2008’s Phoebe in Wonderland, but the world began to see her as a leading lady after she joined the Super 8 cast in 2011.

She went on to play Aurora in two Maleficent movies and, between them, would lead an "agitating" horror film (2016’s The Neon Demon), play a Parisian dancer in the animated 2016 film, Leap!, and portray a rock star in Teen Spirit from 2018. Fanning previously portrayed historical figures in the 2017 Frankenstein author biopic, Mary Shelley, and as the lead of Hulu's The Great cast for two seasons so far.

Colton Ryan on The Girl From Plainville

(Image credit: Hulu)

Colton Ryan (Conrad “Coco” Roy III)

The untimely death of Michelle Carter’s then-boyfriend, Conrad Roy III (also known by peers as “Coco”), is the central focus of The Girl from Plainville, in which he is portrayed by Colton Ryan. Coincidentally, the Dear Evan Hansen cast member played a similar role in the cinematic adaptation of the Tony-winning musical drama just a year earlier.

Ryan made his acting debut in a 2017 episode Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, followed by a recurring spot on Homeland and a guest role on The Americans the next year, before making his feature film debut in the 2019 coming-of-age dramedy, Adam. Also in 2019, he starred in a mockumentary about social media influencers called The Social Ones before appearing in Amazon Prime’s Uncle Frank cast in 2020 and, that same year, joined the cast of the Apple TV+ series, Little Voice.

Chloë Sevigny on The Girl from Plainville

(Image credit: Hulu)

Chloë Sevigny (Lynn Roy)

As Conrad Roy III’s mother, Lynn, we have Chloë Sevigny, who has starred in her fair share of true crime stories before starring on The Girl from Plainville. She received an Oscar nomination for 1999’s Boys Don’t Cry, appeared alongside Macaulay Culkin in Party Monster in 2003, starred in David Fincher’s Zodiac in 2007, played the title role in a Lizzie Borden biopic (one of the best non-horror movies on Shudder) in 2018, and starred in another fact-based miniseries for Hulu called The Act.

Sevigny has also starred in several classic works of crime fiction, such as her debut in the controversial 1995 film Kids, her memorable role in American Psycho, the acclaimed Netflix series Bloodline, or the intense romantic tragedy Queen & Slim from 2019. She also starred on Season 2 and 5 of American Horror Story, played one of Bill Paxton’s three wives on Big Love, and was a police officer in Jim Jarmusch’s irreverent zombie comedy, The Dead Don’t Die, in 2019.

Norbert Leo Butz on The Girl from Plainville

(Image credit: Hulu)

Norbert Leo Butz (Conrad “Co” Roy II)

Playing Lynn’s husband and and Conrad’s father, Conrad Roy II (also known as “Co”), is Chloë Sevigny’s Bloodline co-star, Norbert Leo Butz. The acclaimed Broadway actor has won Tonys for his performances in musical adaptations of two classic films: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Catch Me If You Can

On the big screen, he has played Steve Carell’s brother in the 2007 dramedy, Dan in Real Life, appeared alongside the star-studded cast of the timely 2012 drama Disconnect, leant his voice to the 2019 animated film Wonder Park, and starred in the Sean Penn-led (and directed) thriller, Flag Day, in 2021. On the small screen, Butz starred on the PBS Civil War-era series, Mercy Street, did three episodes of the 2018 FX miniseries Trust (based on the same crime that inspired All the Money in the World from the previous year), played Paddy Chayefsky on another fact-based FX miniseries called Fosse/Verdon in 2019, and stars on the Disney+ original musical film, Better Nate Than Ever, which premieres in April 2022.

Cara Buono on The Girl From Plainville

(Image credit: Hulu)

Cara Buono (Gail Carter)

Playing Michelle Carter’s mother, Gail, is Cara Buono, who made her film debut in Gladiator (the 1992 boxing movie, not the 1999 Best Picture winner), which she followed with Waterland (not to be confused with Waterworld) before starring in 1995’s Kicking and Screaming from Noah Baumbach (not the Will Ferrell sports comedy) and the 1997 gangster drama Made Men, which is not to be confused with Mad Men. However, the actress did earn an Emmy nomination for playing Faye Miller in the Mad Men cast in 2010.

Buono also had a recurring role in HBO’s The Sopranos cast, has done a couple of comic book adaptations (namely 2003’s Hulk and her recurring role on The CW’s Supergirl), and played Kodi Smit-McPhee’s mother in Let Me In - the English-language remake of Swedish vampire flick Let the Right One In - from director Matt Reeves. She is also set to reprise her role as Karen Wheeler in the Stranger Things cast when the hit Netflix series returns in May 2022.

Kai Lennox on The Girl from Plainville

(Image credit: Hulu)

Kai Lennox (David Carter)

As Michelle Carter’s father, David, we have Kai Lennox, whom fans of the Mighty Ducks movies might recognize as Team Iceland’s Olaf from the second film in 1992. He has also made brief, nameless appearances in several other classic movies like Boogie Nights (as “High School/College Kid”), Starship Troopers (as “Male Trooper”), Pleasantville (as “Mark’s Lackey #1”), and Rush Hour (as “Cop at Diner”).

Lennox landed his first starring TV role on the short-lived crime dramedy, The Unusuals, from creator Noah Hawley (whom he would reunite with for a few Fargo episodes) a year before starring in the Oscar-winning drama, Beginners, in 2010 and, years later, playing a Nazi in Green Room for writer and director Jeremy Saulnier. He previously co-starred with Elle Fanning in 2016’s 20th Century Women, and starred in another fact-based miniseries involving teens called Unbelievable for Netflix in 2019.

Watch these talented actors recreate the tragic events that inspired The Girl from Plainville by watching the series on Hulu.

Stream The Girl from Plainville on Hulu.

Jason Wiese
Content Writer

Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in almost any article about Batman.