YEM Interview: Jake Satow shares his experience working with Amanda Seyfried, Michael Ironside, and William H. Macy on The Dropout

Jake Satow is an actor. He is in the series The Dropout. The Dropout chronicles Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes’ attempt to revolutionize the healthcare industry after dropping out of college and starting a technology company. Jake portrays young Christian Holmes, Elizabeth’s younger brother. The show releases weekly on Hulu starting March 3rd. YEM was able to speak with Jake about what drew him to the role. He also spoke about similarities between him and his character, and what he enjoyed most about making the series.

Young Entertainment Mag: What drew you to the role of Christian Holmes?

Jake Satow: The Dropout is such an interesting, true story about Elizabeth Holmes, the world’s first young female billionaire. When I first heard about the story I was totally drawn to it, and just so excited to be part of the project. I play Young Christian Holmes, Elizabeth’s younger brother. And honestly, when I realized how much I looked like Amanda Seyfried who plays the role of Elizabeth Holmes, my character’s older sister, I was also really pumped to do this part! The opportunity to work with her and to watch and learn from the amazing cast on this set was just amazing. I feel so fortunate to have had the experience. 

YEM: What was your knowledge of the Theranos scandal prior to playing this part?

Jake: I had heard about the book and listened to the podcast. There has just been so much buzz about this story leading up to the trial of Elizabeth Holmes and just in all the media. It’s really a fascinating story about the rise and fall of a really unique character. I did a lot of research prior to coming on set and am just amazed at everything that happened in the story.

YEM: What was your experience like working with Amanda Seyfried, Michael Ironside, and William H. Macy? Were you able to get any tips?

Jake: I have so much respect for everyone in this incredible cast, and I have felt so honored to work alongside some of them and to be able to learn from them. I feel really blessed and grateful for the opportunities. It’s wonderful to be able to work alongside such hardworking actors who love their craft so much. The energy on set is amazing and I love learning and working in that kind of atmosphere. William Macy and Amanda Seyfried were incredible to watch. They were both so generous with their time on set and in between scenes and they were so kind to all of us. It was a really amazing experience.

YEM: Did you have a specific process for getting into character as Christian?

Jake: It wasn’t too hard for me because I always try to bring a little bit of myself to every character. It was fun to bring a little bit of the playful, sarcastic side that I have with some of my siblings. In my role, I got to have quite the attitude with my big sister, and that was fun to play. Amanda Seyfried especially made it so comfortable to be myself and to just have fun with my character. I really appreciated that and it’s an experience I’ll never forget.

YEM: Is there anything you want audiences to take away from this show?

Jake: Well, like I mentioned, the Dropout is such an incredible true story about Elizabeth Holmes’ rise to power with her company she founded, called Theranos, and the company becomes known for its cutting edge medical technology. She got the attention of so many influential people, including Steve Jobs others, before it completely crashed. I think people really love a true story about how some people rise to power and what they do once they actually attain it and it’s especially interesting because the series is coming out kind of in real time as this is all being played out in front of us in the media.

YEM: What should audiences expect when they see The Dropout?

Jake: They can expect an amazing performance from Amanda Seyfried as Elizabeth Holmes, and from William Macy and a lot of others in this incredible cast! It’s a really unique story and it’s so current, and it really allows the audience to see and understand the development of the world’s first female billionaire over time and kind of see inside the inner world of Theranos.

Photo Credit: Lilly K Photography

YEM: What was the most rewarding part of portraying Christian Holmes for you?

Jake: Honestly, just part of all the positive energy from the cast and crew and being part of a team where everyone is working so hard to make a really great series. Our director, Michael Showalter, was amazing and there was so much good energy from all the people I was around. It was so much fun, and I’ll never forget the experience.

YEM: Why do you think Christian joined his sister in this fraudulent enterprise?

Jake: Yes, it’s pretty interesting, because Christian also worked for Theranos. He was sort of by her side through much of it. They shared the experience of having their parents lose their job when they were young, which I think became a life changing event for my sister in the project.

YEM: Are there any similarities between Christian, and past roles of yours?

Jake: Yes, my very first character in a film I got to play the role of Darren Tyler. It was a short film called, Flopsee and Buttercup. I got to play kind of a rambunctious kid with quite the attitude. It was fun having a bit of attitude with my older sister in The Dropout and I enjoyed being able to be a little bit sarcastic and have fun with the role.

YEM: What did you dislike about the character of Christian? And how did you embrace those flaws so that you can play the character properly?

Jake: Well, I probably wouldn’t want to be too much like him in real life! And most people who know me probably would say we aren’t very similar, except maybe in that I enjoy sports and like to stay fit and Christian is a bit of a jock.

YEM: What did you enjoy most about making this series?

Jake: I enjoyed researching the story and I enjoyed all the good energy on set. But mostly I enjoyed being able to be part of such a professional cast and crew and making new friends and memories that I’ll never forget!

YEM: What do you think you’ll take away from the experience of making The Dropout into your future projects?

Jake: I learned so much, it’s hard to say everything, but mostly I definitely was reminded how important it is to do your research, to follow your dreams and work hard and just be ready when a great opportunity comes. I love film, and I’m excited to keep learning all I can and I’m excited for future projects.  Amanda Seyfried gave me a lot of good advice, and she said to always be kind and to avoid negative things and situations, and that’s some advice I’ll always appreciate and will never forget.

Watch Jake Satow in The Dropout!