Before the Theranos scandal, Jared Leto recalls a ‘very sweet and lovely’ acquaintance with Elizabeth Holmes.
After meeting and maintaining in touch with the disgraced entrepreneur in 2015, Jared Leto claims he became a fan of Elizabeth Holmes. He first met Holmes when presenting her with Glamour’s Woman of the Year award, as he described to Amanda Seyfried, who played the Theranos founder in Hulu’s drama. Following that, he was pulled to the Silicon Valley craze.
“I had previously heard her talk on stage. She was extraordinarily intelligent, and I later met her. I really liked her “As part of Variety’s Actors on Actors series, Leto said to Seyfried. “She was incredibly kind and compassionate, and there was no indication that things were going well in her life or at work. Then I presented her with an award.”
Jared Leto went on to say that he and Holmes remained friends and that his encounter with the con artist was a monument to human complexity.
“After that, we stayed in touch and talked a few times,” Leto added. “However, my interactions with her were always pleasant and delightful, and I think that’s what’s fascinating about bringing a character to life: not everyone is the same.”
Given that they both played disgraced real-life business stars this year, Seyfried and Leto were an obvious choice for the interview series. Leto’s performance as WeWork founder Adam Neumann in Apple’s WeCrashed has received great reviews.
During the interview, Seyfried expressed her envy for Leto for being able to meet Holmes, whom she was unable to connect with owing to legal restrictions while prepping for the film.
“As an actor, I care about my character. I’m there with her,” Seyfried said. “As much as I can be, as an actor — outside of her world, having nothing to do with her — I’m kind of in awe of anyone who’s spent time with her because she’ll always be far removed from me. Because we were not allowed to meet.”
Seyfried also expressed her complex view of Holmes. “Not to say we’re team Elizabeth, but I had to figure her out in a way, from such a place of passion and worthiness,” Seyfried said. “We all should have a voice, especially when you only see one dimension of somebody.”
The actress made it clear that she was not defending Holmes, who was convicted on four counts of scamming investors in January.
“I know that whatever she’ll be sentenced to, it’s what she deserves. And, I also know, in my gut, that there’s a space for her outside of this whole Theranos thing,” she added. “Outside of prison, if she goes to prison, she’ll spend her time there and then she’ll get out and then she’ll create something or invent something new that will work. I don’t know if I’m the only person that feels that way, but it feels like there are a few of us, and I’d love to see her take responsibility in a very vocal way, which she has not.”