Naveen Andrews to Play Theranos COO Ramesh Balwani in Hulu Series on the Rise and Fall of Elizabeth Holmes
In the Hulu series, “The Dropout,” British Indian actor Naveen Andrews (left), seen above at the screening and Q&A for “Instinct” on day 3 of the SCAD aTVfest 2018 on Feb. 3, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia, will play the role of Indian American Ramesh ‘Sunny’ Balwani (right), who served as Theranos’ president and chief operating officer before he quit in 2016. (Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for SCAD aTVfest 2018; Kimberly White/Getty Images)
India-West Staff Reporter
British Indian actor Naveen Andrews has been cast in a co-starring role in “The Dropout,” a limited series on Hulu, inspired by the ABC News podcast on the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes and her company, Theranos.
Andrews is set to play the role of former Indian American COO of the infamous blood testing firm, Ramesh ‘Sunny’ Balwani, and Amanda Seyfried will take on the role of Holmes. Balwani was also dating Holmes, who is 30 years his junior.
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 is accused of claiming that her firm could conduct comprehensive blood test with a single drop of blood, revolutionizing the blood testing industry.
The 2019 ABC podcast of the same name tracked the Stanford University dropout-turned-entrepreneur’s journey from helming a tech company which was meant to revolutionize the health industry to her now looking at a 20-year prison term if convicted.
ABC News’ chief business correspondent Rebecca Jarvis, along with producers Taylor Dunn and Victoria Thompson, took listeners on a journey that included three-years’ worth of investigations.
It revealed how when Holmes was running out of cash, she brought in Balwani, a former software executive and a flashy entrepreneur, who loaned her about $20 million. After loaning the money, Balwani, said the documentary, joined the company, becoming the most powerful person at Theranos after Holmes.
The blood testing firm was first exposed in a Wall Street Journal report of misleading claims about the efficiency of its tests, following which Theranos begin to disintegrate.
Holmes and Balwani were charged with “massive fraud” by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 2018. Balwani, who quit Palo Alto, Calif.-based Theranos in 2016, served as the company’s president and chief operating officer. Theranos has subsequently settled with the SEC, but Balwani still faces the SEC lawsuit, which seeks an order requiring him to pay an unspecified monetary penalty, and to prohibit him from acting as an officer or director of any publicly-listed company, among other factors.
The U.S. Department of Justice alleged they perpetrated multimillion-dollar schemes to defraud investors, doctors and patients; they have both pleaded not guilty but face up to 20 years in prison if convicted. (Read earlier India-West story here: https://bit.ly/2oPhgLq)
Andrews’ credits include the 1996 film, “Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love,” J.J Abrams’ ABC series, “Lost,” the Anthony Minghella-directed “The English Patient,” and Netflix’s “Sense8.”