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What did Naveen Andrews say about Sunny Balwani's relationship with Elizabeth Holmes

 What did Naveen Andrews say about Sunny Balwani's relationship with Elizabeth Holmes

Courtesy of HULU

SPOILER ALERT This piece contains spoilers for the first three occurrences of “ The Dropout,” which 
premiered on Hulu March 3.

In the final moments of the third occasion of “ The Dropout,” Amanda Seyfried’s Elizabeth Holmes eventually transforms into the figure that those of us happy with her story — as reported in John Carreyrou’s book “ Bad Blood Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup,” Alex Gibney’s talkie “ The Inventor Out for Blood in Silicon Valley” and indeed in “ The Powerhouse” podcast on which Elizabeth Meriwether’s Hulu adaption is grounded — have been staying to see. Throughout the occasion, Elizabeth has been rehearsing her recently baritoned voice, and having maundered back Theranos’ insurrectionary board of directors — important men of her own picking, who ’ve nevertheless started to realize that she’s lying about the company’s technology — she dons the each-black Elizabeth Holmes livery from tip to toe. (The scene is indeed set, winkingly, to Amy Winehouse’s “ Back to Black.”) Gaping into a glass intensively, Elizabeth is again ready to put cases’lives at threat and defraud her 
investors. Not that she thinks about it that way, of course.

By her side, looking inversely determined is her swain, Sunny Balwani (Naveen Andrews). On the show, when Elizabeth meets Sunny in her late teens in Beijing, the summer before she starts at Stanford, she's an exorbitantly humorless nerd determined to learn Mandarin, and he's a weariedmulti-millionaire looking for commodity to do. “ I want to help people, and I want to be a billionaire,” she tells him. “ Like Steve Jobs.” Also she thanks him for not laughing at her; it’s conceivably a first.

On “ The Dropout,” as in real life, Balwani joined Theranos, with him acting as Holmes’COO enforcer (as well as her secret swain). The brace were ultimately fractured, and they were criminated in 2018 for allegedly defrauding investors and cases. Before this time, Holmes was condemned on four (of 11) charges of line fraud and conspiracy, and will be doomed in September. Balwani’s trial is set to start this month.

Playing Balwani adds to Andrews’ formerly long résumé of complicated places, which include Kip in “ The English Case,” Jonah on “ Sense8” and — most famously — Sayid on “ Lost,” on which his Iraqi character, a former member of the Republican Guard, allocated torture and love in nearly equal measure (in this case, to different donors).

In a recent discussion with Variety, Andrews talked about playing Sunny alongside Seyfried. “ To play these characters, and render them as mortal beings, you ca n’t have any judgments,” he said. “ It’s imperative not to.”

He also excavated into how he, Seyfried and Meriwether created the fictional Elizabeth-Sunny dynamic — and how the Holmes trial affected the show.

Had you followed the Elizabeth Holmes-Theranos story when you were approached for the part of Sunny?

I was apprehensive of intermittent bursts in the media when the story broke. But I've to say, I was n’t particularly interested because it sounded to have to do — out of ignorance — with business and pots and startups and entrepreneurs. And that was n’t terribly intriguing to me. It was only when I got the script that I realized, Oh, good God! There’s a lot further to this story than what’s been presented. It sounded to have Shakespearean confines to me. I mean, I allowed of “ Macbeth,” to be honest.

Tell me more! 
 Sunny is Lady Macbeth! Because the fact is, they had started at the onset, it sounded, with good intentions. And how you can also move from those good intentions — because of acquiring great power, wealth — into uncharted home. 

What exploration did you do to produce the Sunny character? 
 A lot of film and videotape of him, because I wanted to physically act him. And I allowed it was veritably significant in terms of where he came from He was born in the Sindh fiefdom in what's now Pakistan, but used to be India, and he was a Hindu. So, I was interested in that sense of relegation, and questioning of identity and rootlessness, which I feel I've an empathy with. 
And most importantly, the fact that he was besotted with her, and in fact he sounded desperately in love. And I believe still might be. The romantic aspect of the story appealed to me, because the abecedarian question is How far are you going to go love, if you love notoriety? What are you prepared to do? And I suppose he kind of went all the way. 

 What kinds of exchanges did you have — with Amanda, with Liz — about the dynamic between Sunny and Elizabeth? 

. Together with Liz’s jotting, Amanda and I on Day 1 artificially sounded to make a decision about the position of closeness in the relationship, the depth of it. Also in terms of what happed latterly on with the trial, and the textbook dispatches that were released between them — not the allegations that were made, but those textbook dispatches — it clearly made me and Amanda feel like, “ Oh, maybe we were in the right ballpark with that decision.” You make a adventure at first, and hope to Christ it’s the right decision. And also when these textbooks came out, and Liz started using them in the script, it made us suppose, “ Yeah, we might have been in the right ballpark.” 

 Because of how into each other they appeared to be? 

 Textbooks like, Yes, Tiger, I love you — that was relatively astounding. Because it’s like, “ Oh, my God, they ’re obsessed with each other! They need each other!” And that’s what we were allowing and feeling — but to have it verified. 

 How did you and Amanda work together to portray the jarring age difference between them? 
I suppose we both felt that if there’s a abecedarian imbalance in the relationship, it opens the door to all feathers of poisonous actions from both parties that one can use to undermine the other — cat and mouse, a struggle for power, maybe. 

 Did you conceive of Sunny as a bloodsucker at all? And if you did, did you try to endue the character with that energy? 

.I ca n’t say that I did. I mean, in my own connections, the mama of my eldest is 16 times aged than me. And I went out with Barbara Hershey, who was 21 times aged than me. 
 It does feel different when it’s the man who’s aged? To me! 
Oh, yes! You ’re right. But he was in his 30s, and correct me if I ’m wrong, she was 19. And I do n’t know — in the world that we live in, I tête-à-tête suppose it’s great when it’s the other way around. I ’ve said too important! Go on. 

 I did know those effects when I asked the question, and was curious whether you brought any of that to the dynamic. 

Both of these characters were veritably presentational — like, interested in iconography. With him, it was his aggression and defensive guard. But it’s what’s behind that that’s intriguing to me There was a great instability behind everything. That informed everything. And maybe it ca n’t fail to do with that age difference. 

Seyfried and Andrews, as Elizabeth and Sunny in Beijing.Courtesy of Hulu

Right. And he’s enough controlling of her from the morning. During their first social plan in Beijing, he pressures her to eat a scorpion, which makes her sick. How did you approach that kind of rom-com

 match cute with commodity more minatory below the face? 

 These effects on the face may be dismissed, or perceived as old world charm on his part, can actually, as you say, denote commodity differently on a deeper position. 
And those scenes were set when they first meet in the early 2000s, after the9/11 terrorist attacks. Sunny is — correctly — angry about being constantly penciled. What kind of gests of yours as an actor or as a person did you bring to that part of the character? 

 Oh, gosh! I guess a continuance’s worth, so it’s useful. Going through the field, I do n’t know how numerous times. But yes, I've to say real experience. 
At the end of the first occasion, Sunny says to her, “ You ca n’t push me down again,” which is scary, of course — and they've their first kiss. 
 Yes, that was our first day together, me and Amanda. So when I was talking about the decision that we made, that was when we made it. I mean, who knows what it's that that binds two people. Without waxing lyrical, it’s, like, secrets in the heart. Perhaps they do n’t indeed know. 

In the alternate occasion, when Sunny comes to her office where she’s principally living in her resting bag, he says he likes being a secret. Can you talk about incubating their dynamic with that scene? 
 Amanda and I, outside of our characters, were slightly floored at the resting bag. I do n’t want to presume on what can be done in a resting bag. But I suppose we should leave that to the followership’s imagination. 

In that same occasion, her father has a health dread, and Sunny swoops in to the deliverance. Does Sunny see that as an occasion to foster his relationship with Elizabeth? 




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