The first three episodes of Hulu/Disney Plus’s hotly anticipated drama series The Dropout have landed.


The show stars Amanda Seyfried (who took over from original star Kate McKinnon) as Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes in a true story about high-level corporate fraud.

Michaela Watkins, who plays an in-house lawyer at Theranos in the series, has spoken out about what she views as the difference between Holmes and fellow fraudster Anna Delvey, who was also recently the subject of a streaming miniseries titled Inventing Anna.

Both women were able to amass fortunes under false pretences, with Delvey posing as a wealthy German Heiress and Holmes claiming to be the brains behind a seemingly radical blood test that was set to revolutionise the diagnosis of diseases. Behind the scenes, Theranos was struggling to make the technology to match up to Holmes’ big claims.

However, in the eyes of Watkins, who plays Theranos' in-house lawyer Linda Tanner in The Dropout, one crucial thing separates the two fraudsters.

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"With Inventing Anna, I think people just really understand that there's a weakness [in] that if you're not inclined to be a liar, you're not going to presume that other people are lying," she told and other press.

"Anybody who's ever interacted with someone who is a compulsive liar, you don't know what colour the sky is after that. It’s so disorienting. And there are people who do it consciously and people who don't."

She added: "The thing about Elizabeth [Holmes] is you don't know. We can have an opinion about it and it certainly could be backed up, but there's a part of her that had so much conviction about what she was saying that, even when we were shooting it, I kept having to ask my character like: 'Do you believe her? You believe her because she believes her.'"

This dramatisation is based on a factual podcast of the same name from ABC, which was hosted by journalist Rebecca Jarvis and provided a detailed account of how this strange case unfolded.

Read on for everything you need to know about The Dropout on Disney Plus.

The Dropout release date

The Dropout - Amanda Seyfried
The Dropout - Amanda Seyfried Disney

The Dropout premiered its first three episodes on Disney Plus on Thursday 3rd March 2022, with the remaining four episodes being rolled out weekly from then.

The series was first announced in April 2019, before Holmes' trial had started, with Saturday Night Live star Kate McKinnon originally set to star and executive produce.

However, she dropped out of the project for undisclosed reasons almost two years later, with Seyfried being hired as her replacement after generating Oscar buzz for Netflix's Mank.

The Dropout cast: Amanda Seyfried plays Elizabeth Holmes

Academy Award nominee Amanda Seyfried leads the cast as entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes, who started her company Theranos after dropping out of the prestigious Stanford University at age 19.

Talking about what she considered to get into character for the show, Seyfried told WhatToWatch: "When you think about the turtleneck, the lips, the voice and the messy hair, that’s how you clothe yourself in Elizabeth Holmes if you're going to play her on Saturday Night Live. Personally, I don't remember seeing any Saturday Night Live sketches and I didn't search for any after I was cast. I guess I was lucky in that sense.

"You have to take all of the iconic pieces of Elizabeth Holmes and you have to throw them away for a minute because you can add those back into a fully-formed human being. Luckily, they didn't have any negative impacts for me. I don't think they would have anyway because I think I could just watch [an SNL sketch] and laugh because I was confident in my own relationship with the character that I was creating. I was making different choices for a different kind of show."

Holmes' former business partner and ex-boyfriend Ramesh 'Sunny' Balwani, whose trial is scheduled to begin in March 2022, is played by Lost and Sense8 star Naveen Andrews.

The Dropout has lined up a number of recognisable faces to play some of the scientists Holmes crossed paths with over the years, including William H Macy (Shameless) as Richard Fuisz, Laurie Metcalf (The Big Bang Theory) as Phyllis Gardner and Stephen Fry (It's A Sin) as Ian Gibbons.

The large ensemble cast of The Dropout also includes Utkarsh Ambudkar (Ghosts), Dylan Minnette (Scream), Michaela Watkins (Search Party) and LisaGay Hamilton (The Practice).

The Dropout true story

Elizabeth Holmes
Elizabeth Holmes attends the 2016 Breakthrough Prize Ceremony in 2015 Kimberly White/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize

The Dropout is based on the shocking true story of Elizabeth Holmes and her company Theranos, which was believed to have technology that would revolutionise healthcare for years to come.

Their product was a new type of blood test that could provide rapid results for a wide variety of health conditions, all of which would be run using a tiny sample taken painlessly.

At the centre of this was a machine named Edison, which was a similar size to a standard microwave and was intended to function as a miniature laboratory through which all of these tests could be run.

Powerful people bought into this idea, with Theranos being valued at $10 billion at the height of its popularity, but the technology behind its key product simply didn't exist.

More than a decade after her company was founded, things finally started to fall apart for Holmes when an article was published by the Wall Street Journal detailing how the company had "struggled" to turn its groundbreaking concept into reality.

This kicked off a catastrophic chain of events for Theranos, which ended with the company being dissolved in 2018 and Holmes' net worth evaporating from an estimated $4.5 billion to nothing at all.

Currently, she is awaiting sentencing after being found guilty of three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiring to defraud private investors, with a maximum prison term of 20 years being possible (albeit, not likely).

It's quite a fall from grace for someone who had previously been named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people and Glamour's Woman of the Year, among other honours.

The Dropout trailer

Hulu dropped the first trailer for The Dropout in February 2022, which came with a premiere date and confirmation that the show will be available on Disney Plus in the UK.

The trailer also gave fans a first look at leading actor Seyfried managing to capture Holmes’ character (and her distinctive deep voice).

The clip starts with Amanda’s ominous opening line: “The world works in certain ways until a new great idea comes along and changes everything.” Watch below:

The Dropout premieres on Disney Plus on Thursday 3rd March 2022. You can sign up to Disney+ for £7.99 a month or £79.90 a year now. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.


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