There are multiple projects about Theranos founder and alleged fraudster Elizabeth Holmes in the works, including a film based on John Carreyrou’s book, Bad Blood, from Adam McKay and Jennifer Lawrence.
But the first project out of the gate is The Dropout, Hulu’s limited series about the Theranos scandal starring Amanda Seyfried as Holmes and Naveen Andrews as Theranos president and COO—and Holmes’s partner—Sunny Balwani. First-look stills of The Dropout have arrived, I assume deliberately timed to align with Holmes’s fraud trial, which begins closing arguments today, showing off Seyfried in Holmes’s signature black turtleneck and red lipstick. It’s a passable look. Her hair isn’t messy enough—I still don’t know why Holmes wore her hair in a tangled bun, was messy hair supposed to communicate genius?—and in a few shots, the lipstick is too bright red, Holmes went for a deeper shade of red, but overall, it’s a reasonable facsimile.
The Dropout was originally supposed to star Kate McKinnon, but she had to, well, drop out and was replaced by Seyfried. Maybe the look is a little inconsistent, but I’ve got no qualms with Seyfried’s ability to play an intense and deeply weird person. She’s always been good at that. No, my only question for Amanda Seyfried is what is she going to SOUND like? If you’ll recall, Elizabeth Holmes puts on an absurd baritone voice in public, it’s obviously fake and I don’t know why anyone ever heard THAT voice and thought, Yeah, I’ll give this person millions of dollars. I do not think it’s a coincidence that Holmes surrounded herself with older men, because every woman I know hears that voice and goes, Nope.
I hope The Dropout devotes an entire episode to The Voice, it’s one of the most bonkers and fascinating details of Holmes’s (alleged) con. I know all the research about women’s voices and how people take deeper-voiced women more seriously than women with high voices, but Holmes way overshot the mark. She sounds like a broken Teddy Ruxpin. (I was really hoping one of the prosecutors at her trial would get to the bottom of The Voice.) A trailer can’t be far behind these stills, so we’ll be able to judge Amanda Seyfried’s Elizabeth Holmes Voice soon enough.