In the scene, the two share a momentary bliss of happiness before having to return to court one final time. “Over the course of that story, Gail and Michelle are unable to connect despite my desire to be a good mom and try to reach out to her,” Buono says.
“And that was really the only moment -- in fact, the only part of the story -- that I touched her,” she continues. “There’s a moment where I actually physically touch her and I feel like for the first time that she feels like no matter what, her mom is still there. Her mom is always gonna be there for her and I think that’s important for her and all teenagers.”
The scene also sees Fanning undergoing her final transformation as Michelle, with her final haircut once again recalling Cara Delevingne, with whom she bears a striking resemblance.
As Michelle’s mother, Buono witnessed the evolution of Fanning’s looks as embodied Michelle over a seven-year span. “Just watching the different stages, you know, from the long hair to the wig to when we’re in the courtroom, I would be transfixed by her,” she says.
“Also, as she physically changed and her emotional level changed, I would find myself kind of getting lost in her complete embodiment of the character,” Buono adds.
And she wasn’t the only one taken by Fanning’s dramatic transformation. Co-creator Liz Hannah says it was “scary” watching the star appear on set in full costume and makeup, most notably during the courtroom scenes. “It was like seeing Michelle walk in,” she recalls.