Starring in Hulu's latest true crime series, John Henry Ward discusses how he prepared for his role as Adrian, filming with Elle Fanning, and reveals his celebrity crush.
Original interview by Valerie Furlong.
Hulu's "The Girl From Plainville" is centered around the events that lead to the death of Conrad Roy, an eighteen-year-old whose case made headlines across the nation in 2014. What caught the attention of the public and the media about this case was the involvement of Roy's girlfriend, Michelle Carter. When the case concluded, Michelle Carter was convicted for involuntary manslaughter. With Elle Fanning as the lead, the series explores true crime, toxicity in relationships, mental health, and a landmark murder case that would forever change how the law looks at the influence of words.
In the series, John Henry Ward plays Adrian Peters. Out of all the characters, Adrian is the one who is willing to hear Michelle out and even extends his sympathy to her when the entire town becomes engrossed in the murder case. As his first starring role, Ward admitted that his process to bring Adrian to life on the screen was complex. Not only because Ward was so passionate about the project and the cast, but he admitted that playing a real character from a real life story represents a lot of responsibility for an actor.
"You feel a larger responsibility," John said. "You have the responsibility of playing someone's life, and that comes with a new wave of thinking. The material's already serious, but it takes a whole new level of responsibility."
Ward's performance in "The Girl from Plainville" is stellar. Not only did he galvanize audiences to feel connected with Adrian Peters through his talented acting, but it's easy to tell that we are just getting to experience Ward's potential. During his scenes with Elle, he shows an incredible range of emotion that makes fans cling to the edge of their seats. It is without a doubt one of our favorite performances in a true crime series this year.
There is no doubt that Ward's connection to his character, Adrian, was so strong from the beginning. Through this connection, he was able to truly step into Adrian's shoes and navigate the character and storyline with ease and maturity. It his connection and insight into Adrian that brings this role full circle for Ward.
However, not all audiences grasped the reason why Adrian was such an incredible and complex character. Ward explains that as a queer character, Adrian can connect to Michelle's feelings of not feeling heard.
In the series, Adrian is introduced as a queer person who is open to listening to Michelle. Digging deeper into the role, John feels like Adrian's sympathy to Michelle comes from his experiences growing up in the town. On a somewhat similar plane, Adrian feels as though Michelle is experiencing what a lot of queer people also experience throughout their lives, so he is willing to at least listen to what she has to say.
"Acting with Elle was pretty awesome. She'll be totally friendly, chilling, and then she will snap into it," John said about his experience working with Elle Fanning.
While fan of the series would love to see "The Girl from Plainville" return for a second season, it is unlikely that we'll get a sequel to the riveting story. Primarily, this is because the Hulu Original follows the real-life trial closely, and since Michelle Carter was released in 2020, she has kept a low profile and stayed out of the public eye. While the story itself might have come to an end as fans got to experience it, this show will remain a timeless watch for die-hard fans of true crime. We keep John Henry Ward's stellar performance close to our hearts, and we couldn't be more thrilled to see him bring his skills and unique approach to acting in future projects.
Rapid Fire with John Henry Ward
Aside from speaking about his role on "The Girl from Plainville," John answered a few rapid-fire questions that gave us insight on his personality.
What's one movie you could watch for the rest of your life?
J: School of Rock
Which role would you have liked to play in School of Rock?
J: Spider. He's a member of the band that Dewey (Jack Black) gets kicked out. Cause he has a really funny scene.
What's your favorite color?
What's something your fans don't know about you?
J: I've seen Sex and the City series three times. I find it comforting. I've seen the movie once, though.
What's your celebrity crush?
J: Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones...as a couple.