Chloe Sevigny on Playing 'Enchanting' Lynn Roy in 'Girl From Plainville'

The Girl From Plainville is the jaw-dropping true-crime drama series on Hulu that is sure to give you chills.

The eight-part series brings to the screen the heartbreaking true story of Conrad Roy III, who took his own life on July 12, 2014, at just 18 years old.

What transpired next was a case that shocked America and the world, when Conrad Roy's girlfriend at the time of his death, Michelle Carter, 17, was indicted for involuntary manslaughter.

Known as the "texting-suicide case" a series of phone records and text messages exchanged between the couple in the months and days leading up to Conrad Roy's death painted a far darker picture of their relationship and the circumstances surrounding his suicide.

In 2017, Carter was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in relation to Roy's death. She was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison which was reduced to 15 months. In January 2020, she was released after serving just 12 months of her sentence.

In The Girl From Plainville, Elle Fanning stars as Michelle Carter and Colton Ryan takes on the role of Conrad Roy. Chloë Sevigny portrays Ryan's mother Lynn Roy.

Sevigny joined the project later and was convinced to take on the challenging role of Lynn Roy when she heard Fanning was on board and after she watched Lynn Roy speak in-depth about her son's loss in Erin Carr's HBO documentary, I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter.

Sevigny did not meet with the real Lynn Roy ahead of the series, fearing there would be a pressure to mimic her exactly. Instead, Sevigny wanted to capture her spirit, knowing she had her blessing.

Speaking to Newsweek, Sevigny said: "My character, Lynn, is going through one of the worst things imaginable, losing a child and when I first got the role and started doing research, I would watch the documentary and I was very struck by her strength, by her spirit.

"There's strength for humor even. Her kind of mysticism, there was just something very enchanting about this woman and also very sympathetic, obviously. I was just drawn to her and wanted to, you know, help tell the story of her son."

She continued: "Being Lynn Roy... it's really important for her to tell Conrad's story and she does a lot of interviews and wants to keep his memory alive. She's fighting for law in Massachusetts [Conrad's Law] and, knowing that we had her blessing and was very important to me.."

chloe sevigny the girl from plainville
Chloe Sevigny as Lynn Roy in The Girl From Plainville on Hulu. Steve Dietl/Hulu

Throughout the season, audiences have seen their mother-son relationship play out on the screen in a series of flashbacks and how she coped with her confusion over his death and her grief.

The show examines the depths of Conrad Roy and Carter's relationship and what role her text messages played in his death, while also addressing the complexities of mental illness and the grey areas around suicide in the criminal justice system.

For months, Carter encouraged Roy, who suffered from depression, to seek professional help. However, in the weeks leading up to his death, Carter's attitude changed.

Instead, she began to encourage Roy to kill himself.

She suggested numerous methods and asked him on multiple occasions when he was going to do it. In one text, according to court documents, she wrote: "You'd better not be bulls******* me and just pretending. Tonight is the night, it's now or never."

On the night Roy died, phone records prove he was on the phone with Carter on two occasions, for 45 minutes on each call.

There is no proof of what was said between the two, but in text messages to her friend weeks later, Carter shared some details, claiming: "I could have stopped it."

She texted her friend: "His death is my fault. Like, honestly I could have stopped it. I was the one on the phone with him and he got out of the car because [it] was working and he got scared and I f***ing told him to get back in ... because I knew that he would do it all over again the next day and I couldn't have him live the way he was living anymore."

In 2017, Carter was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to two and a half years in prison. In total, she served a 15-month reduced sentence.

On Lynn Roy and Carter's unique relationship, Sevigny reflected: "It is surprising, like what this woman [Lynn Roy] must have been thinking. Here is this girl that had such a deep relationship with her son, and she's never met her before or even really knew about her."

She continued: "How are we there for adolescents and, but not be too, you know, invasive?"

Despite the dark, true story Sevigny shared that she hoped people would connect to the true-crime drama in a larger form.

She said: "I mean there's a true story, that is very specific, there's a lot of specifics in the story, but I'm also hoping that there's something that resonates. It's kind of universal in a way.

"It's a story of loss and even if it's not a child, any loved one can kind of find comfort and in relating to the pain that someone else is going through and feel less alone and kind of feel more okay with the emotions."

Sevigny concluded: "There's the overarching message to help destigmatize mental health and suicide awareness that people who are feeling the sorts of feelings are more emboldened to reach out and ask for help and also hope that people will take to heart and how they communicate with others via text or social media and take more responsibility for their words and their actions, knowing how heartfelt people can take them, how they can be so easily misunderstood."

Today, the real Lynn Roy is fighting to pass Conrad's Law, a law that would make suicide coercion a crime in the state of Massachusetts, with a prison sentence of up to five years.

Speaking to People about Conrad's Law, Lynn Roy said: "With this tragedy, my son would want me to help other people, other families.

"If we get the law passed — when we do — that's going to be a win for me, for him.

"I just want my son to be proud of me."

If you have thoughts of suicide, confidential help is available for free at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255. The line is available 24 hours, every day.

The Girl From Plainville airs Tuesdays on Hulu.