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Elizabeth Holmes said Amanda Seyfried isn’t really playing her in The Dropout, but rather a “character” she created.
The disgraced Theranos CEO, who was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison, became known for her look and voice, which consisted of red lipstick, a black turtleneck and a distinctive way of speaking — deep and hollow.
During a new interview with The New York Times published online Sunday, Holmes unveiled what the newspaper called her “new persona,” Liz Holmes, who is described as speaking with a soft, “unremarkable voice” and blending in with other mothers.
When talking with the Times about actresses who have or were set to portray her in projects, including Seyfried in Hulu miniseries The Dropout or Jennifer Lawrence, who was slated to play the CEO in Adam McKay’s Bad Blood before departing the film, Holmes said, “They’re not playing me. They’re playing a character I created.”
Seyfried also went on to win an Emmy Award for her role in the limited series.
Holmes, who founded Theranos at 19, explained that she created the distinguished 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.”
In 2022, a federal judge sentenced Holmes to more than 11 years in prison for duping investors in the failed startup that promised to revolutionize blood testing, but the technology never actually worked.
During the company’s 15-year history, Holmes was at the center of a scheme to tout Theranos’ blood-testing system as a breakthrough in health care — a medical device that the company claimed could detect a multitude of diseases and conditions from a few drops of blood. The technology helped Theranos raise nearly $1 billion from investors, and Holmes became the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire at the time with a $4.5 billion fortune, based on her 50 percent stake in Theranos.
But after The Wall Street Journal published an investigation into Theranos in 2015, questioning if the technology really worked, everything came crashing down and ultimately led to Holmes’ conviction.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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