‘The Dropout’ to Reveal Elizabeth Holmes and Sunny Balwani’s Texts

Text messages exchanged between Elizabeth Holmes and Sunny Balwani during their relationship as they ran Theranos became public during her trial. According to Naveen Andrews, who portrays Balwani in The Dropout, the Hulu miniseries included the infamous texts in the script.

Amanda Seyfried and Naveen Andrews standing together and smiling
‘The Dropout’ stars Amanda Seyfried and Naveen Andrews | Emma McIntyre/WireImage/Getty Images

‘The Dropout’ script includes Elizabeth Holmes and Sunny Balwani’s infamous texts

Speaking to Variety in March 2022, Naveen Andrews, the actor portraying former COO of Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes’s partner, Sunny Balwani in The Dropout, described how he and Amanda Seyfried, who plays Holmes, fleshed out the romantic relationship on the show.

According to Andrews, he and Seyfried came to a conclusion of the “level of intimacy” between the former couple on the first day.

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He then explained that the infamous text messages between Holmes and Balwani, released during the trial, validated their choice.

Additionally, the actor revealed the creator, Liz Meriwether, incorporated the texts into the show after they became public. The exchanges became public during Holmes’s 2022 trial, in which she was convicted on fraud and wire conspiracy charges. Balwani is scheduled to face trial in March 2022.

Sunny Balwani actor Naveen Andrews says texts validate their ‘level of intimacy’

Andrews further clarified how the messages confirmed that he and Seyfried were on the right track regarding how they evaluated Holmes and Balwani’s relationship.

The Lost actor pointed out one exchange, in which one referred to the other as “tiger” when affirming their love, as evidence, noting, “they’re obsessed with each other! They need each other!”

Another much-talked-about aspect of the former couple’s relationship is their age difference. He met Holmes at the age of 37 when she was 18 and a senior in high school.

When asked how Andrews, 53, and Seyfried, 36, portrayed the noticeable 19-year age gap, the British actor admitted they both believe a “fundamental imbalance” can lead to “toxic behaviors” from the younger and older partner in possible attempts to undercut each other on their quest for power. Addressing portraying the polarizing and controversial character, Andrews explained he had to “render them as human beings” and stay objective, adding, “it’s imperative not to.” 

‘The Dropout’ dives into Elizabeth Holmes and Sunny Balwani’s relationship

Hulu miniseries The Dropout details Balwani and Holmes’s relationship, which started in her late teens when they met the summer before she began studying at Stanford in Beijing. She was eager to learn Mandarin, and he wanted something to do after selling his company for millions.

Still, they bonded over her desire to become a billionaire while helping people. After a brief separation, the two reconciled, officially dating, and she later began her quest to start Theranos.

The show also painted him as the person who got her into her beloved green juice. They decided to keep their relationship private, but Balwani became a central figure in the health technology company after she promised his money to keep the business afloat.

Also granting him the title of COO, he started running the day-to-day operations. However, his overbearing personality rubbed employees and the company’s decorated board of directors the wrong way. At one point in the show, board member and former Secretary of State, George Shultz, didn’t put Balwani on the invite list for Holmes’s birthday, and she had to add him herself. The Dropout airs Thursdays on Hulu.

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