Hulu’s new miniseries Sick tells the tragic and urgent true story of how the introduction of OxyContin played a fundamental role in the opioid epidemic in the United States. Based on the novel Dopesick: the drug dealers, doctors and the drug company addicted to America, the eight-episode series centers on a small town doctor who was sold on the benefits of OxyContin as an effective pain reliever with a very low risk of addiction, the working-class community who was decimated when the drug turned out to be quite addicting, and the giant drug company, Purdue Pharma, which cut corners, falsified claims, and pushed the drug through FDA approvals and into doctors’ offices at the nationwide.
Written and Developed by Danny Strong (HBO’s Tell and Game change), with episodes directed by Oscar winner Barry Levinson, the series features a star cast starring the great Michael Keaton (who also produces the series). Who else is on board and where have you seen them before? Read on.
Michael Keaton as Dr Samuel Finnix
Oscar nominated actor Michael Keaton leads the cast of Sick like Dr. Samuel Finnix, the trusted physician in his Virginia mining community who ends up prescribing OxyContin to many of his patients and then lives with the guilt of life that the drug ruins. Keaton is best known for his lead roles in the two Batman films directed by Tim Burton, beetle juice, Night watch, the title role in the best film award Bird man, and more recently in Oscar nominated films Projector and The Chicago 7 trial.
Peter Sarsgaard as Rick Mountcastle
Mountcastle is the Assistant US Attorney who sued Purdue Pharma for his deception and negligence in pushing OxyContin. He is portrayed by Peter Sarsgaard, known for his critically acclaimed performances in films like Broken glass (for which he won the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor), Garden condition, Kinsey, and An education. He recently starred in the Hulu miniseries The impending tower, on the FBI and CIA’s missteps in tracking Osama bin Laden’s actions leading up to 9/11, and later this year he will star in The lost girl, directed by his wife, Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Michael Stuhlbarg as Richard Sackler
Richard Sackler is the pharmaceutical billionaire who, as head of Purdue Pharma, oversaw the development and aggressive sale of OxyContin. It was later, as shown Sick, sued for millions. He is played by Michael Stuhlbarg, one of the great working character actors best known for roles like Arnold Rothstein in Boardwalk Empire, the daddy in Call me by your name, and Andy Hertzfeld in Steve Jobs. He also received an Emmy nomination for his performance (alongside Sarsgaard) in The impending tower.
Will Poulter as Billy
Will Poulter’s groundbreaking roles came as a teenager, first in the Danny Boyle film Son of Rambow then like Eustace Stubbs in the third Chronicles of Narnia movie, Voyage of the Dawn Ferryman. He then played the fake son of Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis in We are the Millers, participating in the first and third Labyrinth movies, facing Leonardo DiCaprio in The ghost, and as a rude American in the 2019 horror movie Environment. In Sick, he plays Billy, a young sales representative for Purdue Pharma responsible for selling OxyContin to doctors.
Kaitlyn Dever as Betsy Mallum
At 24, Kaitlyn Dever quickly established herself as one of the great actresses of her generation. Its revolutionary performance in the FX series Justified in 2011 set the standard, she stole scenes opposite Brie Larson in Short term 12, and shone in teen comedy Booksmart and the Netflix limited series Unbelievable, two roles that could not have been more different. She recently managed to gain praise for her performance in Dear Evan Hansen even as the film itself was ripped apart by critics. In Sick She plays Betsy, a young coal miner from Virginia and patient of Dr. Finnix who has been prescribed OxyContin to help cope with injuries sustained in the mine, only to have to deal with the addictive consequences of the drug.
Rosario Dawson as Bridget Meyer
Dawson plays Bridget Meyer, an agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration, who is leading the investigation into the illegal practices that led to the approval of OxyContin. Dawson has been playing since his first performance in the controversial 1995 film Kids, piercing with roles in movies like He has a game and Josie and the Pussycats. She reigned in Spike Lee’s 25th hour, his Mimi in the To rent The film is hugely underrated, and its performance as Claire Temple (aka The Night Nurse) was a rare bright spot in Netflix’s now-defunct Marvel Universe.
John Hoogenakker as Randy Ramseyer
John Hoogenakker is probably best known for his role as the CIA black ops operator opposite John Krasinski in Jack Ryan by Tom Clancy for Amazon. He also played Lizzy Caplan’s father of Annie Wilkes in Hulu’s second season. stone castle. At Sick, he plays another Assistant US Attorney investigating Purdue Pharma, alongside the characters of Sarsgaard and Dawson.
Jake McDornan as John Brownlee
It appeared on Shameless, the renewal of Brown murphy, the Disney + remake of Good things, and starred on the CBS version of the Bradley Cooper movie Unlimited, but Jake McDornan will be forever and ever remembered as preppie brotherhood boy Evan Chambers on Greek. In Sick he plays John Brownlee, another US attorney who is trying to sue Purdue Pharma for OxyContin.
Phillipa Soo as Amber
Phillipa Soo won Tony and Emmy nominations for her portrayal of Eliza Hamilton in the hit Broadway musical. Hamilton. She is also the originator of the title role of Natasha in the off-Broadway production of Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, although she took care of Hamilton when the transfer of that show to Broadway happened. Most recently, she voiced a very pop-star incarnation of the goddess Chang’e in the Netflix animated film. On the moon. She plays Amber in Sick, another sales representative from Purdue Pharma.
Sick premieres on Hulu on Wednesday, October 13. New episodes are slated for release each week through November 17.
Joe Reid is editor-in-chief of Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has been featured in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The AV Club and more.