Pain Hustlers, a new pharmaceutical drama from BAFTA Award-winning filmmaker David Yates, is based on the Evan Hughes’ New York Times Magazine article, “The Pain Hustlers” from May 2, 2018, and his subsequent book The Hard Sell released in January 2022.
The film stars Emily Blunt, Chris Evans, Andy García, Catherine O’Hara, Jay Duplass, Brian d’Arcy James, and Chloe Coleman. Pain Hustlers is the story of a struggling single mom (Emily Blunt) who loses her job and takes up a new position at a failing pharmaceutical start-up. Things get much more complicated than she bargained for as the company is wrapped up in a racketeering scam, and the job gets a lot more dangerous.
Read on to meet the cast and characters of Pain Hustlers, and see the film when it hits select theaters on Oct. 20 and releases on Netflix on Oct. 27.
Emily Blunt as Liza Drake
Liza is a fictional character placed at the center of the Pain Hustlers scam, a single mom who takes a job at Zanna Therapeutics to help pay for her daughter’s medical condition. Swept up in the dangerous allure of the company, Liza helps them make millions — before it all comes crashing down.
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Chris Evans as Pete Brenner
Pete Brenner is the slimy marketing executive who brings Liza onboard at Zanna and reaps the rewards of her canny sales techniques. Pete is happy to bend the rules to make a quick buck — an attitude that could cost him dearly.
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Andy Garcia as Dr. Jack Neel
Dr. Jack Neel is the eccentric founder of Zanna and the creator of its increasingly popular drug Lonafen. Ostensibly driven by the death of his wife, Neel cloaks his greed with altruism.
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Catherine O’Hara as Jackie Drake
Jackie Drake is Liza’s equally money-hungry mother, who soon joins the Zanna sales team and causes several problems for her daughter — not the least of which is an ill-advised flirtation with Dr. Jack.
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Brian d’Arcy James as Dr. Nathan Lydell
Dr. Lydell is the first of the many doctors that Liza convinces to prescribe Lonafen. Soon, he’s wrapped up in Zanna’s paid-speaker program, and business is booming — until trouble comes knocking.
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Chloe Coleman as Phoebe Drake
Phoebe is Liza’s daughter, whose struggle with a seizure-inducing brain condition prompts her mom to do whatever it takes to reverse her precarious financial condition. When Liza’s work at Zanna starts to pay off, Phoebe is thrilled.
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Jay Duplass as Brent Larkin
Larkin is the vice president of marketing at Zanna and Brenner’s sworn rival. He’s as slimy as Brenner but has no patience for his counterpart’s showboating.
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