Amanda Seyfried has had many high-profile roles over the years, but her latest project, The Dropout, is one of her most buzzworthy to date. Based on a true story, The Dropout features Seyfried as Elizabeth Holmes, the entrepreneur who was convicted of criminal fraud. It was one of the biggest news stories of 2018, and Seyfried undergoes a complete transformation to portray Holmes. In a recent interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Seyfried opened up about what it was like to play Holmes, and how she prepared for the leading role.
What did Amanda Seyfried say about preparing for her role in ‘The Dropout’?
Seyfried has been acting since she was a young girl, but when she learned about The Dropout, she admitted to feeling intimidated. As she revealed to Harper’s Bazaar, she dived immediately into the role of Elizabeth Holmes. “I Zoomed some people. I studied the shit out of the deposition tapes, because it’s about capturing an essence,” Seyfried said. “I’m Amanda. I’m never not being Amanda, but hopefully, you have to work harder to uncover the Amanda, depending on the role I’m playing. In this, I hope that I disappear.”
She went on to talk about the real-life Holmes, saying “She’s a fascinating person. She’s really smart; she had a lot going for her. She made some bad choices with great intentions in the beginning, and then suddenly, she’s here, and like, “How the f*** did that happen? What happened in between?”
Amanda Seyfried transformed into Elizabeth Holmes for ‘The Dropout’
Of course, one of the iconic elements of Holmes’ public identity is the clothes she wore – including the infamous black turtleneck. Seyfried talked about getting into character as Holmes, and how it felt to put on the costumes for the first time. “For the fitting, when I put the turtleneck on—and it was not just the turtleneck, it was the puffy vest—I was like, ‘My body is meant for this moment.’ It takes the whole look,” the actress said.
Seyfried told Harper’s Bazaar “You can’t have two-thirds of the look. It takes makeup, hair, outfit, mannerisms, body language. And I felt like, “I’m in the right job. I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.” When it came to mastering the deeper voice that Holmes famously utilized, Seyfried said that it was all about “committing to the journey.”
In a separate interview with What to watch, Seyfried noted that she had to practice for a long time to nail the right tone since her natural speaking voice is much higher than Holmes’ own voice. Still, she admitted that the hardest part of playing Holmes was “continuing to play the facts,” detailing the extravagant and often unbelievable details of Holmes and her company, Theranos.
What are critics saying about ‘The Dropout’?
Seyfried’s hard work on The Dropout has already made an impact, with many critics praising her acting in the miniseries. After it debuted on the streaming platform Hulu in early March, fans were quick to call out Seyfried’s transformation. In particular, critics have praised how Seyfried effectively changes her voice over time, showing viewers the way Holmes worked to develop herself as a corporate personality, a marked change from her days as a timid college student.
Others have noted their appreciation for the way that The Dropout doesn’t glamorize Holmes or the fraud that she perpetrated. Certainly, The Dropout shows the brutal side to Holmes, as well as the single-minded focus with which she pursued her goals—even to the detriment of others.