Painkiller, Netflix’s anticipated and upcoming new limited series about the U.S. opioid crisis, releasing Aug. 10 from the EP team of Eric Newman (Narcos, True Story) and director Pete Berg (Friday Night Lights, Spenser Confidential) is inspired by real events amid the country’s opioid crisis and features a cast including Uzo Aduba, Matthew Broderick, Taylor Kitsch (marking a FNL reunion with Berg), Dina Shihabi, West Duchovny and John Rothman.
Clark Gregg, Jack Mulhern, Sam Anderson, Ana Cruz Kayne, Brian Markinson, Noah Harpster, John Ales, Johnny Sneed, Tyler Ritter and Carolina Bartczak guest star.
Learn more about the actors who play the perpetrators, victims, and truth-seekers whose lives are altered by the introduction of OxyContin in the series below. While some characters — like the Sacklers and US Attorney John Brownlee — are inspired by real people, others are fictional, representing the experiences of so many.
Uzo Aduba as Edie Flowers
Edie Flowers is a no-nonsense lawyer working for the US attorney’s office in Roanoke who’s investigating the new drug OxyContin. She attempts to bring a case against Purdue Pharma, the company that makes OxyContin and is widely blamed for creating the opioid epidemic in America.
Aduba starred in Orange Is the New Black, In Treatment, Mrs. America, Steven Universe, Candy Jar, Miss Virginia, Really Love, Solos, National Champions, Showing Roots, Lightyear, Beats, American Pastoral, and Talluah
Matthew Broderick as Richard Sackler
Richard Sackler is the scion of the billionaire family and a senior executive at Purdue Pharma. He’s the nephew of Arthur Sackler, the founder of Purdue. After Arthur passes away and saddles his family with debt, it’s Richard’s idea to make opiates the company’s profit engine.
Matthew Broderick starred in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, WarGames, Election, The Lion King, The Producers, Glory, The Freshman, The Cable Guy, The Tale of Despereaux, The Stepford Wives, Godzilla, Daybreak, BoJack Horseman, and Inspector Gadget
Taylor Kitsch as Glen Kryger
Glen Kryger is a hardworking family man and small business owner whose life is upended after he suffers an injury at work and his doctor prescribes him OxyContin.
Taylor Kitsch starred in Friday Night Lights, True Detective, The Terminal List, The Defeated, The Normal Heart, Waco, 21 Bridges, American Assassin, Savages, John Carter, The Covenant, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine
West Duchovny as Shannon Schaeffer
Shannon Schaeffer is an ex-college athlete who’s desperate to leave her parents’ home in Ohio. She finds a job as a new recruit to the Purdue sales team. As her role becomes increasingly lucrative, her conscience comes into play.
West Duchovny starred in Saint X, The Magicians, Linoleum, A Mouthful of Air, Vegas High, The Report, Sick, and The X-Files
Carolina Bartczak as Lily Kryger
Lily Kryger is Glen’s wife. She is very much in love with him and tries her best to support her husband after his injury. But she is pushed to the brink by his increasingly dangerous and harmful behaviors.
Carolina Bartczak starred in X-Men: Apocalypse, Moonfall, Brick Mansions, An Audience of Chairs, The Bold Type, Business Ethics, White Lie, Most Dangerous Game, Within These Walls, Hall, Death of a Ladies’ Man, Be Mine, Valentine, A Charming Valentine, Christmas in Love, The Mysteries of Alfred Hedgehog, Covert Affairs, The Listener, Karma’s a B*tch!, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, and Air Crash Investigation
Jack Mulhern as Tyler Kryger
Tyler Kryger is Glen’s 17-year-old stepson who is prone to angst and rebellion. He struggles with guilt because Glen’s accident happened while they were arguing at their family-owned tire shop.
Tyler Kryger starred in The Society, Mare of Easttown, Wu-Tang: An American Saga, Unconformity, and Odd Man Rush
Dina Shihabi as Britt Hufford
Britt Hufford is a veteran sales rep for Purdue who mentors Shannon. Beneath her unflinching devotion to the company lies deep insecurity.
Dina Shihabi starred in Altered Carbon, Archive 81, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Daredevil, BKPI, Ghosts of Beirut, Agent Stoker, Madam Secretary, MVP, Ramy, and Catching Dust
Clark Gregg as Arthur Sackler
Arthur Sackler is the patriarch of the Sackler family and founder of Purdue. He is the one who realized that the big money in medicine was in sales and marketing. He appears to Richard as an apparition throughout the series to guide his nephew in his handling of the family legacy.
Clark Gregg starred in The Marvel Cinematic Universe (films and series including Iron Man, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Thor, The Avengers, Captain Marvel, Ultimate Spider-Man, and What If.. ?), The New Adventures of Old Christine, Much Ado About Nothing, Very Good Girls, The To Do List, Labor Day, Brightest Star, Live by Night, Spinning Man, The Conners, Moxie, Being the Ricardos, Run Sweetheart Run, How I Met Your Father, Florida Man, The West Wing, Hoot, In the Land of Women, Choke, 500 Days of Summer, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, As the World Turns, Clear and Present Danger, The Usual Suspects, Sports Night, Sex and the City, The Practice, and Will & Grace
John Rothman as Mortimer Sackler
Mortimer Sackler is the co-owner of Purdue Pharma and Richard Sackler’s uncle.
John Rothman starred in The Devil Wears Prada, Ghostbusters, Big, Taxi, Gettysburg, Jingle All the Way, Picture Perfect, Pollock, Say It Isn’t So, Welcome to Mooseport, Prime, United 93, One Mississippi, The Report, Bombshell, and Enchanted
Tyler Ritter as Us Attorney John Brownlee
US Attorney John Brownlee is Edie Flowers’ new boss, who is a clean-cut straight-shooter. She works hard to convince him to take down Purdue in pursuit of true justice.
Tyler Ritter starred in Merry Happy Whatever, The McCarthys, Arrow, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Modern Family, Grey’s Anatomy, Young & Hungry, NCIS, Loosely Exactly Nicole, Hot in Cleveland, The Good Doctor, and An Evergreen Christmas