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Interview: ‘The Dropout’ Director Michael Showalter on Finding Humor in a Human Drama

The too-bizarre-to-be-true story of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos has been in the public spotlight for years. Just when you thought you have seen it all comes the Hulu dramedy series The Dropout which puts a spin on the captivating tale of fraud and deception. Bringing on director Michael Showalter is just the right choice to balance the story’s natural drama and dark humor.

Showalter’s long resume that includes everything from the critically-acclaimed The Big Sick to Wet Hot American Summer, Search Party, comedy specials, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (where Joey previously interviewed him here) and, as I discovered during the interview, even books on cats. He has a filmography that extends over two decades and included acting, writing, directing and more.

He discussed why people are so infatuated with the story of Holmes. “Sadly, we love a story of fall from grace.” said Showalter. “This simplicity, the kind of the House of Cards, the disparity between how big it got, and how many how incredibly powerful people involved were. And then when you contrast that with how much of a nothing burger was there behind the scenes, it boggles the mind.”

Awards Radar spoke with Showalter about working on the series. The conversation covers how a career that launched with writing and performing on the sketch comedy series The State eventually lead to him directing the The Dropout, working through Covid, collaborating with Amanda, and much more. Listen to the conversation in its entirety below.

FULL INTERVIEW: Michael Showalter, director of the Hulu series “The Dropout”

You can watch The Dropout on Hulu. New episodes arriving each Thursday.

Courtesy of Hulu


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Written by Steven Prusakowski

Steven Prusakowski has been a cinephile as far back as he can remember, literally. At the age of ten, while other kids his age were sleeping, he was up into the late hours of the night watching the Oscars. Since then, his passion for film, television, and awards has only grown. For over a decade he has reviewed and written about entertainment through publications including Awards Circuit and Screen Radar. He has conducted interviews with some of the best in the business - learning more about them, their projects and their crafts. He is a graduate of the RIT film program. You can find him on Twitter and Letterboxd as @FilmSnork – we don’t know why the name, but he seems to be sticking to it.

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