Amanda Seyfried Photo: Noam Galai (Getty Images)
Days before Amanda Seyfried is set to make her debut as Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes in the Hulu original series The Dropout, she is reflecting on how she almost passed on the role completely.
After Kate McKinnon left the project in order to play Carole Baskin for Peacock’s Joe Vs. Carole series, Seyfried was tapped to play Holmes, which she initially turned down. Like the rest of us, the pandemic was posing numerous challenges for her and taking on the role of the Theranos fraudster seemed like the least of her concerns.
“Listen, I was having a fucking moment, OK?” she explains in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I had COVID. I was isolating in the basement of a gross townhouse in Savannah, Georgia, because my husband was working on a movie there. And now an L.A. shoot? Pass!”
However, after coming down from her COVID-fever, Seyfried called her agents to let them know she’d take the role. “It’s really going to be difficult,” she recalls telling them at them time. “It’s a huge challenge. But I can’t believe that I get a challenge like this.”
We would say that the role of Elizabeth Holmes is a once in a lifetime role, but with another Theranos feature helmed by Adam McKay and starring Jennifer Lawrence, The Dropout joins a wave of depictions of Silicon Valley meltdowns including Apple TV+’s WeCrashed about WeWork and Showtime’s Battle For Uber starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. We’re living in The Social Network-era of television and film, that’s for sure.
Once Seyfried got on board, another challenge came into fruition: Holmes’ now-infamous (and allegedly faked) deep, hollow voice.
“I knew my voice was never going to be as deep as hers because I’m physically not capable of it,” Seyfried says. “Besides, I promised I wasn’t going to give myself a hard time and try to completely mimic this other human being. It’d be impossible. And just not fun.”
Well, from the trailer it looks like she aced it, and hopefully had some fun along the way. The Dropout premieres on Hulu on March 3.