Elizabeth Holmes Says Amanda Seyfried Was Playing a ‘Character I Created’ in ‘The Dropout’

As she stares down the barrel of an 11-year prison sentence, Theranos fraudster Elizabeth Holmes unveiled her new persona — Liz Holmes, the remorseful and soft-spoken mother of two — in an interview with The New York Times.

In the profile, which received backlash online by those critical of the paper’s willingness to give Holmes a platform, the Theranos founder reflected on how the media has portrayed her. Amanda Seyfried won an Emmy for playing Holmes in the Hulu miniseries “The Dropout,” and Jennifer Lawrence was set to embody the same role in a movie directed by Adam McKay. She has since dropped out of the project.

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“They’re not playing me,” Holmes said of the actors who have donned her signature black turtleneck and red lipstick. “They’re playing a character I created.”

Holmes told the Times that she created this persona because “I believed it would be how I would be good at business and taken seriously and not taken as a little girl or a girl who didn’t have good technical ideas. Maybe people picked up on that not being authentic, since it wasn’t.”

Hulu had no comment when asked by Variety about the possibility of a follow-up to “The Dropout” based on more recent developments.

Even though “The Dropout” was billed as a limited series, in April 2022 Seyfried expressed interest in playing Holmes again. “I’m not kidding, a two-hour special. Come on!” Seyfried told Variety in a joint interview with “The Dropout” showrunner Elizabeth Meriwether.

Holmes founded the doomed medical startup firm Theranos at age 19 with the promise of a revolutionary blood-testing device that could detect a wide range of illnesses with just a finger prick. She quickly became one of the world’s most-celebrated tech leaders and the youngest self-made female billionaire. Then, when a Wall Street Journal investigation questioned whether her flagship technology actually worked, Holmes found herself at the center of one of the biggest corporate fraud scandals in history.

In November 2022, Holmes was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison on four counts of fraud. A prosecutor said the case was “about fraud, about lying and cheating,” alleging that Holmes raised millions of dollars from investors while misleading them about her technology’s capabilities.

During her criminal trial, Holmes delivered a tearful testimony in which she said, “I stand before you taking responsibility for Theranos. It was my life’s work. I am devastated by my failings. I have felt deep pain for what people went through, because I failed them. To investors, patients, I am sorry. I regret my failings with every cell of my body.”

Read the full New York Times story here.

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