In The Girl From Plainville, viewers have seen Elle Fanning‘s Michelle Carter become an outcast at King Philip High School in Wentham, Massachusetts, following accusations that she helped convince her boyfriend Conrad Roy to commit suicide. For John Henry Ward, who plays the role of Michelle’s prom date Adrian Peters, he found “empathy” and “understanding” for the young girl in order to help tell the story in the Hulu series. “When I was in high school, and I felt like I was on the fringes, emotionally, socially, whatever experience I was having and feeling like an outsider, I always had a queer person to talk to that I felt saw me, heard me, and was non judgmental,” John explained in an EXCLUSIVE interview with HollywoodLife. “I think that’s who Adrian is for Michelle.”
“I think queer people being ostracized often from society allowed me to have more empathy for people who are going through these unique situations, people on the fringes. That’s what I was really trying to bring to Adrian,” he continued. “Michelle really has no one else, and Adrian, I think, recognizes that. He’s a very aware and social person, and knows what’s going on with everyone in school. So, he extends the olive branch.”
John admitted that when researching for the role and reading more about the case he was “shocked at the lack of empathy” and “amount of hate” thrown at 17-year-old Michelle during the trial in 2015. “I think that’s why I really wanted Adrian to reach out to her, because I watched the documentary read the articles and I was just shocked. She was just a girl, and anyone acting like you become an adult the day you turn 18 is insane,” he recalled. “That’s where I think the show is doing a really good job, giving you everything we know. Making a few assumptions here and there, but really letting you come to your own conclusions by keeping the story grounded and giving you the full picture.”
The Girl From Plainville releases new episodes on Hulu every Tuesday. Stream now!