Exclusive: Girl From Plainville and Dear Evan Hansen star on tragic roles

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Photo credit: Hulu/Steve Dietl
Photo credit: Hulu/Steve Dietl

Note: The following article contains discussion of themes including suicide that some readers may find upsetting.

The Girl From Plainville follows the tragic true crime story of Conrad Roy's death by suicide after being encouraged to do so by his girlfriend, Michelle Carter, who was on the phone to him at the moment it happened.

Colton Ryan, who plays Conrad, appeared as Connor Murphy in the film adaptation of Dear Evan Hansen, who also experienced the same fate, with Conrad's suicide providing a catalyst for the protagonist's rise to popularity.

Photo credit: Hulu/Steve Dietl
Photo credit: Hulu/Steve Dietl

Related: The Boys star Aya Cash reveals how she kept spirits up in dark new true crime show

Digital Spy spoke exclusively to Ryan about the toll such tragic roles take on him and those around him.

"Something's responding in other people about me with this sort of thing, which has been quite difficult to explain to my mother.

"I don't think it really is about my attraction [to the roles], it's much more what other people are seeing in me, which has been probably hard on my family to grapple with, even though I keep reassuring them that I don't know what it is."

He added that he is proud to have portrayed these characters and collaborate with charities, as well as the learning experience this has provided for him to make a difference.

Photo credit: Universal
Photo credit: Universal

Related: Ben Platt responds to Dear Evan Hansen criticism over his age

"I do know that it has ended up being the greatest honour of my life. Even the education alone, in my prep and extensive research for both these young men. For both I paired with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the education alone of like, of the tidbits of information that are not just given out to us."

The Girl From Plainville airs July 10 on STARZPLAY in the UK and airs on Hulu in the US.

We would encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to visit mentalhealth.gov or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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