With The Dropout set to premiere soon on Hulu, Amanda Seyfried has been opening about her transformation into Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, the medical and tech phenomenon who duped the medical and tech worlds out of millions with false promises of a blood testing app that would revolutionize the health care industry. Holmes has since been found guilty of defrauding investors, which makes the upcoming Hulu series all the more riveting, but Seyfried almost passed on the whole thing.
Originally, Saturday Night Live alum Kate McKinnon was set to play Holmes, but COVID delays forced her to bow out of the role. The producers then turned to Seyfried who was riding high off of her Oscar-nominated role in Mank. She immediately turned them down. Via The Hollywood Reporter:
“Listen, I was having a f*cking moment, OK?” she explains, laughing, during our early-February Zoom. “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!”
The actress insists she’s got nothing against L.A. She merely prefers to stick close to home — which, for the past eight years, has been the upstate New York farm she keeps with her husband (Broadway vet and The Newsroom star Thomas Sadoski), their two children and a menagerie of animals.
However, the next morning, Seyfried’s fever broke, and she called her agents back with a change of heart after realizing the role would be an interesting challenge. From there, Seyfried got to work on nailing Holmes’ distinct, and ultimately fake, speaking voice, even though the actress swears she didn’t stress herself out about it.
“I promised I wasn’t going to give myself a hard time and try to completely mimic this other human being,” Seyfried told THR. “It’d be impossible. And just not fun.” Clearly, Seyfried is being modest, because judging by the trailer, she did a pretty spot-on job of portraying Holmes’ weird, deep voice that everyone now knows was a ruse.
The Dropout premieres March 3 on Hulu.
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)