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Posted by admin on June 24th, 2022 / No Comments

Elle Fanning is Hulu’s MVP this year, in contention via both her edgy comedy series “The Great” and the dark limited series “The Girl From Plainville.” Not only does she star in both she also serves as an executive producer on the two projects.

“Hulu comments on my Instagram photos all the time,” she says. “And it’s always a boost from Hulu. They’re like, ‘Yes, Queen! You’re doing great!” It’s like, thanks, Hulu! Whoever’s running that, they’re really giving me a boost in the morning when I check my comments.”

That affirmation is appreciated by Fanning as she heads to London soon to shoot Season 3 of “The Great.” Last year, she kept a grueling schedule in which she filmed “The Girl From Plainville” just days after wrapping Season 2 of “The Great.”

“It was a complete 180,” she says. Fanning spoke to Variety’s Awards Circuit Podcast about both shows, and in particular what it took to research the story behind “The Girl From Plainville” and depict her character in an honest way. Also in this episode, we chat with “Pachinko” creator and showrunner Soo Hugh about the origins behind her Apple TV+ show, and what’s next. Listen below!

In “The Girl From Plainville,” Fanning plays Michelle Carter, the teen who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for encouraging her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, to end his life. It’s indeed a marked contrast to playing a rebel Catherine the Great in Hulu’s wild “The Great.” And at first, given the salacious nature of how the story of Carter and Roy was covered in the media, Fanning wasn’t so sure she was interested in the role.

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Posted by admin on June 24th, 2022 / No Comments

The former child star, who is now 24 and garnering career-best notices for her work on a Hulu comedy series and limited series, reflects on growing up in the industry alongside Dakota, when she took ownership of her career and what led her to projects on the small screen.

Elle Fanning is a gifted actress who is already a widely respected veteran at the age of just 24. She is the younger of two sisters — Dakota is four years older — who both made tremendous impressions as child performers en route to impressive careers as young adults, with no major personal bumps along the way. Of her work on the big screen, she is perhaps best known for 2010’s Somewhere and 2017’s The Beguiled, both directed by Sofia Coppola. But she has also starred in films big and small under the direction of, among others, Francis Ford Coppola, J.J. Abrams, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, David Fincher, Cameron Crowe, Sally Potter, Jay Roach, Mike Mills, Nicolas Winding Refn, John Cameron Mitchell, Tony Scott, Terry George, Ben Affleck and Woody Allen.

This year, Fanning played substantial parts on and executive produced two TV programs, both for Hulu, and both of which could bring her Emmy nominations to go with four prior Critics Choice Award noms, two Golden Globe Award noms, one Spirit Award nom and one SAG Award nom. The first is The Great, a comedy series on which she portrays Catherine the Great, who arrived at the Russian court of Emperor Peter III with a twinkly eyed vision of life as his wife, mother of his heir and reformer of an empire, only to get a rude awakening. And the second is The Girl From Plainville, a limited series on which she portrays Michelle Carter, a high school student in Massachusetts who encouraged her own boyfriend to kill himself, and then, after he did so in 2014, wound up on trial for involuntary manslaughter.

During a recent episode of THR’s Awards Chatter podcast, Fanning reflected on all of the above and more. You can listen to the full conversation or read excerpts of it below.


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Posted by admin on June 17th, 2022 / No Comments

Having acted since the age of two, Elle Fanning is a unique kind of veteran. Now, at 24, she knows her way around a set but still has the energy and fervor to take on new challenges, such as producing the shows she stars in, something she began doing in 2020 with The Great, followed by this year’s The Girl from Plainville, which is based on true events. The Great will soon start filming its third season. For Fanning, these roles have kept her on her proverbial toes, while allowing her to expand her skills as a producer.

DEADLINE: You were a producer on The Great. What has producing taught you about your profession that you maybe didn’t know before?

ELLE FANNING: I think I’m still learning in that aspect of being behind the scenes, but it’s always something that I’ve been really drawn towards. I think being a child actor, you grow up on film sets, but watching everyone else around you, watching other people make the decisions and put things together, and so I’ve always been fascinated by that. So now that I get to pull back the curtain and be in those rooms and be a part of conversations that I normally wouldn’t have been, I’m really happy in that place. I do thrive when I can get creative and strategize and think of the best way that we can put this show together.

The editing room for me, I was in it a lot during The Girl From Plainville, and I really enjoyed the editing process. The postproduction of it all and how editing can change so much if you just flip things around and choose other takes, and the nuance of that, I really loved. I’ve definitely grown into my voice. Weirdly, like, The Great and playing Catherine has helped me with that because she’s a young woman, and a lot of the time, is not looked on with the greatest respect. Learning from how Tony [McNamara, screenwriter] writes her and being able to, I don’t know, speak my mind. Especially because I have to remind myself, I am obviously very young and still learning, but at the same time, I’ve been acting since I was two. So, in a lot of ways, I think people like to think, “Well, you’re young, you don’t know.” It’s like, “Well, you know what, maybe I do this time?” Just learning to speak up and building that confidence, I’m enjoying that.

DEADLINE: You say that playing Catherine has helped you find your voice a bit more—how so? Are there any moments you can point to?

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Posted by admin on June 17th, 2022 / No Comments

Elle Fanning joins Tiffany Haddish (“The Afterparty”), Keegan-Michael Key (“Schmigadoon!”), Natasha Lyonne (“Russian Doll”), Craig Robinson (“Killing It”) and Tyler James Williams (“Abbott Elementary”) on the Envelope Comedy Roundtable.

Full episode premieres Friday June 3, 2021 at 7PM PST on Spectrum News One.


Posted by admin on June 17th, 2022 / No Comments

TheWrap Emmys magazine: ”I’m sure if I watched a story of my life, I’d be like, ‘That’s nothing like what it was or who I am,’“ the actress said

There is an astonishing moment late in Hulu’s limited series “The Girl From Plainville” in which Elle Fanning seems to simultaneously twist her face into the masks representing comedy and tragedy, the perfect distillation of her character’s shattered psyche. The fact that she does so in reaction to an extended fantasy sequence involving a high school show choir performing Wheatus’ 22-year-old one-hit wonder “Teenage Dirtbag” makes it all the more impressive.

Based on the 2014 death of Conrad Roy and the subsequent involuntary manslaughter trial of his girlfriend, Michelle Carter, “The Girl From Plainville” seeks to demystify a case primarily defined by tabloid headlines screaming about the dangers of texting and her manipulation that may have led to his suicide. It brings nuance to its portrayal of the complicated relationship between the teens.

In taking the role of Michelle, Fanning was offered an opportunity to delve into a complicated character who, while infamous to the world at large, felt largely unknown, particularly with regard to Michelle’s own psychological issues. “It felt like a version of mental health that we hadn’t seen,” Fanning said. “And it’s seven years of her life, so she’s definitely in different phases at different times and showing growth, but also isolation. I think she was so alone and so desperate for attention.

“There’s probably no one in the world more dramatic than a teenage girl,” she added. “But it’s amplified in her case.”

The actress isn’t kidding, particularly with regard to just how Michelle’s dramatics are handled in the series, which features several musical fantasy sequences—like the one set to “Teenage Dirtbag”—where the character’s obsession with the TV series “Glee” bleeds into her reality. In one moment, Fanning and co-star Colton Ryan (who portrays Roy) break into an elaborate musical number, performing REO Speedwagon’s “Can’t Fight This Feeling” in the middle of a public street.

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Posted by admin on May 23rd, 2022 / No Comments

The actor, who has been working since she was two, taps into new powers on two TV shows: season two of The Great and limited series The Girl From Plainville.

In both The Girl From Plainville and The Great, there are moments when a close-up of Elle Fanning’s face takes up the entire frame, her blue eyes staring directly into the camera, emotion rippling through her face as her character comes to a shocking realization. In season two of The Great, it’s when Catherine discovers that her husband, Peter, slept with her mother and then accidentally killed her. In Plainville, it’s when her character, Michelle Carter, is convicted of involuntary manslaughter for using text messages to pressure her boyfriend to commit suicide.

“Now that I’m thinking about it, cameras are always really, really close to my face,” says Fanning with a laugh during our conversation for Little Gold Men. “You kind of have to drown everything out when you’re doing those scenes…. You have to put on blinders, and you’re just like in this trance with the camera. I kind of enjoy those moments.”

It’s not just those brief moments that depend wholly on Fanning—both series only work, and work well, because of the performances that Fanning is able to deliver as the lead. “I think they mark a really special moment in my career,” says the 24-year-old actor, who has been working since two years old, first playing the younger version of her sister Dakota Fanning’s characters in the film I Am Sam and the miniseries Taken. “In child acting, those roles are designed to be observant. I was very conscious of that when I was younger, and I was kind of envious of the other actors that I would work with because they’re getting to be wild and experiment…. These two roles have allowed me to get to take action in a real way—and take action in my career.”

Fanning’s notable career mostly revolved around film as she grew up, but since signing on to The Great, TV has become the priority. Though that means she has less time to shoot movies, it’s a sacrifice she’s happy to make for what felt like a unique opportunity, even if it was for the small (streaming) screen. “I feel like these shows have given me a challenge that no movies that I’ve come across lately have held,” she says. “These characters couldn’t be better in the sense of challenging me.”

In The Great, Fanning plays an outlandish version of the famous Russian ruler Catherine the Great, who overthrows her husband (played by Nicholas Hoult) to rule Russia and attempt to bring it into a new era of education and enlightenment. Through most of the second season, which hit Hulu in November, her character is pregnant, forced to rule a nation while also keeping her troublesome husband in line and dealing with odd pregnancy cravings for dirt and rusty nails. “With Catherine, I felt like my acting muscle—wherever that is or whatever that is or how stupid it sounds—it really grew and I became less embarrassed,” she says. “I really had become a little bit more uninhibited.”

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Posted by admin on May 3rd, 2022 / No Comments

Elle Fanning has grown up on screen, starring in dozens of movies since her film debut two decades ago. Starting in 2020, she’s gained acclaim as Empress Catherine II in Hulu comedy “The Great.” But two weeks after wrapping production on Season 3, she dove into a much more serious project, Hulu’s “The Girl From Plainville,” playing another real person: Michelle Carter, the teen who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for encouraging her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, to end his life.

The case played out in the media when Carter was indicted in 2015. Fanning is also a producer on the eight-part series, now streaming, which takes a deep dive into the relationship between Carter and Roy (portrayed by Colton Ryan) — the side of the story that didn’t make any headlines.

I remember watching the case. I was 19. The media painted this situation in a very one-dimensional way: She was the black widow — a manipulative young woman — and he was the victim, which he very much [was], but we didn’t get to know him. We didn’t get to know Conrad or his backstory or see the amazing man he was. When they came to me to possibly do this and be a producer, I was hesitant because [most of] these people are alive and this is a story that is very sensitive, and I really had to think hard if it was the right thing to do. Ultimately, I decided to do it because the people involved are people that I knew cared about it that way. I felt that we could tell this story in an unbiased way, in a very modern world about something that is very modern: technology and how to navigate that and the false intimacy that it creates for everyone, which I certainly have experienced.

What steps did you take to embody Michelle Carter?

I watched a lot of “Glee.” She was a huge “Glee” fan. I had seen the show, but I watched a lot of it on set. Reading the pilot, in the last scene she’s singing “Make You Feel My Love,” mimicking [“Glee” star] Lea Michele’s grief. Lea’s grief was real in the show; she’s also mourning her real-life boyfriend [Cory Monteith, who died in 2013]. I’ve never met her, but I know every mannerism that she does in that scene. I have a legal pad of notes. I wrote down every time she blinked, every time she moved her hand with each word, to mimic the emotion. It was a real exercise. I felt really connected to her, because I feel like I’ve seen her grieve. It was very meta.

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Posted by admin on April 6th, 2022 / No Comments

From her early years of child stardom to her current status as a leading lady, ELLE FANNING has achieved more than many actors twice her age. She has flexed comedic muscles as an empress in The Great – which garnered her two Golden Globe nominations – launched a production company with her sister Dakota, and is now stepping into the role of a convicted criminal. Here, the actor talks to MARTHA HAYES about defying expectations and why she’s cautious of the pernicious power of social media

Elle Fanning is reminiscing about the mid-2000s, when she and her older sister Dakota would get mobbed walking around Universal Studios in Hollywood. “If one person saw Dakota [then a child star known for her roles in Uptown Girls and Charlotte’s Web], it was a spiral effect,” she shares over lunch at a Los Angeles deli close to her home in the Valley.

“I wasn’t getting recognized, but I was part of the madness. I’d be like, ‘Dakota! Dakota!’ to try and make it happen.” She rolls her eyes, visibly cringing at her seven-year-old self. “I was the worst.”

By the time she was 12, Fanning – who made her screen debut aged two playing a younger version of Dakota’s character in I Am Sam (2001) – had a dedicated fan base of her own, following her breakout roles in Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere and J.J. Abrams’ sci-fi smash hit Super 8. In the past decade, she has gone on to cultivate a career many veteran actors only dream about, starring in multi-million-dollar blockbusters (such as Maleficent and its sequel) and working with respected art-house auteurs, such as Nicolas Winding Refn in psychological horror The Neon Demon.

Now Fanning is turning 25, it would be clichéd to call this stage of her career a ‘coming of age’ – nevertheless, she has certainly hit a new era. She can now play a mother; she can still play a schoolgirl. And this year she is doing both. The former is, of course, the role of Catherine, the 18th-century Empress of Russia in satirical drama The Great, which has been confirmed for a third series and for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe. The latter is the lead in the true-crime drama The Girl from Plainville.

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Posted by admin on March 31st, 2022 / No Comments

“You do feel a weight of responsibility because these are real people that we’re talking about,” Elle Fanning tells PEOPLE about her role in The Girl from Plainville

Elle Fanning and Colton Ryan are opening up about their roles in the new Hulu series The Girl From Plainville, which was inspired by real-life events surrounding the relationship between Michelle Carter and her late former boyfriend, Conrad Roy.

Fanning, 23, said the case “could have only happened” due to the current era of technology, telling PEOPLE (the TV show!)’s senior correspondent Jeremy Parsons about how she related to her character through her own personal experiences as a young teenager.

“That was the entry point for me that I could really understand because I was in high school, having social media, texting and feeling those feelings that we all feel of false intimacy and that adrenaline rush that we feel when you get a text from a crush,” she explained, adding that she hopes the show will help “destigmatizing mental health.”

Michelle, an emotionally struggling 17-year-old who portrayed herself as Conrad’s girlfriend, urged him toward his death. Conrad was found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning in his pickup truck on July 13, 2014, in the parking lot of a Kmart in Fairhaven, Massachusetts.

A controversial charge put Michelle on trial for involuntary manslaughter. Prosecutors said she not only researched plans for Conrad’s suicide but pushed him to go through with it when he wavered. She was convicted in 2017 and sent to prison, where she served 11 months.

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Posted by admin on March 31st, 2022 / No Comments

Elle Fanning was beyond focused when it came time to play Michelle Carter, the teen who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for encouraging her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III (played by Colton Ryan), to end his life.

The court case was splashed all over the news in 2017, so Fanning had footage to study when preparing for Hulu’s “The Girl From Plainville.” However, that wasn’t what she spent hours watching. Instead, she binged “Glee,” which was Carter’s favorite show, so much so that it took over parts of her life.

“She was a huge ‘Glee’ fan. I had seen the show, but I watched a lot of it on set. Reading the pilot, in the last scene she’s singing ‘Make You Feel My Love,’ mimicking Lea Michele’s grief. Lea’s grief was real in the show; she’s also mourning her real-life boyfriend,” Fanning tells Variety. “I’ve never met her, but I know every mannerism that she does in that scene. I have a legal pad of notes. I wrote down every time she blinked, every time she moved her hand with each word to mimic the emotion. It was a real exercise. I felt really connected to her, because I feel like I’ve seen her grieve. It was very meta.”

At the end of the first episode of “The Girl From Plainville,” Fanning sings the song to herself in the mirror, pausing only to rewatch the “Glee” episode to make sure she was getting the motions down.

“As an actor, I was very eager to commit it, but I also knew how important it was for the story because I think the series turns and you start questioning Michelle’s motives in a way,” Fanning continues, noting that Carter overly dramatizes things in her life. “I think our show threads the needle of those Y.A. themes, but we’re trying to do the opposite. We’re trying to completely not sensationalize this story. But at the same time, Michelle is kind of being she’s the star in her own TV show or in her own Y.A. movie.”

The balance between fantasy and real life was something that Fanning, who has been acting for more than 20 years, can relate to.

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Posted by admin on March 17th, 2022 / No Comments

“There’s a real version of her and also what the media did to her, that really villainized her in a way,” says Elle Fanning about her unbiased approach to portraying Michelle Carter, the 17 year-old Massachusetts girl who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after encouraging her 18-year old boyfriend, Conrad Roy, to commit suicide in July 2014.

The Hulu series, which made its world premiere here at SXSW on Saturday and drops on the service on March 29, was a topic too juicy to pass up for co-creators Patrick Macmanus and Liz Hannah who were sent Jesse Baron’s Aug. 2017 Esquire profile.

Fanning, who was joined in the Deadline studio by the EPs, Colton Ryan (who plays Roy) and Chloe Sevigny (who plays his mourning mother Lynn) described her tightrope walk in playing a real person, whose life has been turned upside down by the media, and a character that is written specifically on the page. Carter was initially sentenced to two-and-half years in prison. In January 2020, she was released after serving 11 months of her sentence due to good behavior. In the wake of the incident she’s kept a low profile.

“You can’t judge,” explains Fanning about portraying Carter, “Part of the reason why I like being an actor…is exploring the psychology behind, Michelle in this case, what could bring her to do the things that she did.”

“I felt very close to her and the young people in this story,” said Fanning who despite being a millennial and growing up with social media, is “still discovering” its impact.

The Girl From Plainville actress and EP added, “We’re seeing the effects of this now, and how modern this story truly is and how that effects your mental health (which) was something, I wanted to dive into.” [Source]

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The Great (TV Series)

Role: Catherine
Release Date: 2020
A royal woman living in rural Austria during the seventeenth century is forced to choose between her own personal happiness and the future of Russia, when she marries an Emperor.
The Nightingale

Role: Isabelle
Release Date: 2022
The lives of two sisters living in France are torn apart at the onset of World War II. Based on Kristin Hannah's novel 'The Nightingale'.
The Girl from Plainville (TV Series)

Role: Michelle Carter
Release Date: 2022
A young woman from a small town in Massachusetts is accused of persuading her boyfriend to commit suicide.
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Role: Ali MacGraw
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Young director Francis Ford Coppola faces off against producer Robert Evans during the production of 'The Godfather.'
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