- The British Indian actor will play Sunny Balwani, business partner and secret boyfriend of Elizabeth Holmes, CEO and founder of Theranos, a now-defunct health technology company.
British Indian actor Naveen Andrews has been roped in as a lead opposite Amanda Seyfried in Hulu’s “The Dropout.” The limited drama series is based on ABC News/ABC Radio’s podcast about the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes and her company, Theranos, a now-defunct health technology company. Andrews will play Sunny Balwani, Holmes’ business partner and secret boyfriend throughout the rise and fall of the company.
The series will explore what caused the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire, once heralded as “the next Steve Jobs,” to lose everything in the blink of an eye.
Holmes dropped out of Stanford University at 19 to start the blood-testing startup, Theranos, and grew the company to a valuation of $9 billion. She is on trial for allegedly defrauding investors, doctors and patients, and if convicted, she could face up to 20 years in prison. A California judge initially set an August 2020 start date for the federal trial, but the case has been further delayed, first due to the coronavirus pandemic, and now due to Homes’s pregnancy. While she awaited trial, Holmes has reportedly found the time to get engaged — and married — to a hotel heir named Billy Evans.
“The Dropout” is executive produced by Elizabeth Meriwether as well as Seyfried, who will also serve as a producer on the project, from Disney Television Studios’ 20th Television and Searchlight. “The Dropout” is scheduled to release this summer.
Andrews is known for his role in J.J Abrams’ ABC series hit “Lost” and “The English Patient,” directed by Anthony Minghell. He also starred in the Wachowskis’ “Sense8” series for Netflix.
(Top photo, Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes and former Chief Operating Officer Sunny Balwani addressing the company’s staff in 2015 in Palo Alto, Calif.)