Amanda Seyfried and EP Elizabeth Meriwether on Ways ‘The Dropout’ Might Be Similar to ‘New Girl’

Liz Meriwether never got around to asking Amanda Seyfried if she was a “New Girl” fan. Meriwether, who created the long-running comedy, is also behind “The Dropout,” starring Seyfried. But Meriwether says she stopped talking about the show when too many people told her they didn’t even have a TV.

“I always took it to mean, ‘I have a television, but I’ve chosen not to watch your show,’” Meriwether says. “But I also got a lot of, ‘my girlfriend loves your show!’”

Turns out Seyfried did watch “New Girl,” and was a fan.

“I remember meeting Zooey [Deschanel] back when she started the show… And I remember being a big fan of hers because she got that balance between awkwardness and total deadpan truth. And you are the man of course behind the curtain,” Seyfried told Meriwether on the latest edition of the Variety Awards Circuit Podcast. “You put a lot of people in business for many years because of that writing. And because it was different… You brought people together with that character. Totally relatable to every single person.”

Seyfried and Meriwether discuss their collaboration on Hulu’s “The Dropout,” which included striking the right balance between drama and comedy. The duo also found the right tone for depicting Elizabeth Holmes as someone who did wrong, but also someone who truly believed she could pull off her fantastic dream of changing the world with her company Thearnos. Listen below!

Seyfried and Meriwether had never talked about “New Girl” until this podcast. “I don’t usually start every conversation with, ‘Have you seen “New Girl”?’” Meriwether quipped. But the two discuss what similarities they found in the lead characters on both shows.

“I saw [Elizabeth Holmes] making the box as an attempt to connect with other people,” she says. “I really love writing about characters that are desperate to connect, but can’t for various reasons. I don’t know why I like to write about that.”

Responds Seyfried: “Because that’s every single person at some point in their life.”

In Hulu’s Emmy-nominated limited series “The Dropout,” Seyfried plays Holmes, the founder of the billion-dollar blood-testing company Theranos. Of course, as we know now, the company was a sham and Holmes has now been convicted of fraud. But the story behind Holmes has captivated audiences over the years via podcasts, a documentary and now “The Dropout.”

Critics lauded the show, and so did Emmy voters. The series is up for outstanding limited or anthology series, as well as lead actress for Seyfried. And also, Meriwether earned a nomination for writing, Francesca Gregorini and Michael Showalter are both up for directing, and the series is also nominated for casting. That’s six nominations all together.

Seyfried and Meriwether became fast friends over their similar senses of humor and ideas for the show. The duo also discussed if they’ll ever revisit Elizabeth Holmes, and also what else they might collaborate on in the future.

“I could play her until I’m blue in the face,” Seyfried says. “But I also know that when you get an opportunity like this, it works out. It is what you wanted it to be and more and then the other end of it, you feel fulfilled and stuff. And then on the other end of it, people really enjoy it and really were entertained by it to a point of critical recognition and all the positive reviews. It’s really hard to try to do it again. Even if her life is very big, even if she is only 37 years old and just had a baby and is about to go to prison. Let’s just give Adam McKay and Jennifer Lawrence, that story.”

Meriwether says she definitely plans to work with Seyfried again. “I will just always want to work with Amanda,” she says. “That’s gonna happen.”

Variety’s “Awards Circuit” podcast, produced by Michael Schneider, is your one-stop listen for lively conversations about the best in film and television. Each week “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top film and TV talent and creatives; discussions and debates about awards races and industry headlines; and much, much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post weekly.

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