The Dropout creator Elizabeth (or Liz) Meriwether is pretty open about how, before taking on the story of famed entrepreneur-turned-fraudster Elizabeth Holmes for the Hulu limited series, she didn’t know too much about the world of entrepreneurs, or science. “It was totally new for me,” she tells Consequence in a phone interview. “I had to really learn a lot.”
Holmes first became a famous figure as an anomaly in the Silicon Valley tech sphere: a young, conventionally attractive female innovator, whose big ideas for a blood-testing device that could lead to a massive uptick in early detection of medical issues led to magazine covers as well as hundreds of millions of dollars in investment funds. However, her innovative ideas turned out to be based on lies and deception, leading to the end of her company and eventual conviction for four counts of fraud.
For the record, this Consequence writer wasn’t exactly planning to bring up the fact that we share a very common first name (and nickname for said name), but it did prove to be a relevant question, because not only are we both named Elizabeth, but two other producers on the show (Liz Hannah and Liz Heldens) are as well — and, of course, there’s the matter of the show being about Elizabeth Holmes.
In the below interview, transcribed and edited for clarity, Meriwether explains how she and her collaborators handled that unexpected coincidence in the writers’ room, and what it was like assembling an all-star cast that includes Amanda Seyfried as Elizabeth Holmes, alongside Naveen Andrews, Utkarsh Ambudkar, William H. Macy, Elizabeth Marvel, Laurie Metcalf, Stephen Fry, Bashir Salahuddin, Dylan Minnette, Alan Ruck, Sam Waterston, and Michaela Watkins.
She also reveals whether she’d want to continue The Dropout for additional seasons, anthology-style, and if The Dropout is just the first of many true crime stories that the creator of New Girl might take on in the future.