Dopesick, the Hulu drama series starring Michael Keaton, Kaitlyn Dever and Peter Sarsgaard, tells the story of the opioid crisis in the U.S. between 1996 and 2007.
Creator Danny Strong said during a panel discussion at The Hamden Journal’s Contenders TV: The Nominees event that there’s still a chance of justice against Richard Sackler and his family, owners of OxyContin producer Purdue Pharma.
Contenders TV: The Nominees — The Hamden Journal’s Complete Coverage
He said he hasn’t given up thinking that there will be justice as activists still are trying to get a U.S. attorney to indict the family for the crimes documented in the eight-part series.
“People haven’t given up,” he said. “I don’t want to call it retribution, but [if that happens], I would just say justice will have maybe finally happened. For some loved ones, they’ll be thrilled if that happens, but it’ll never truly be true justice without [their] family members.”
Strong, who was on the panel alongside Dever and Sarsgaard, called it “one of the greatest crimes in the history of the United States.”
Dever plays Betsy Mallum, one of the victims of the crisis. She said that there’s no set formula for playing such a character. “I just had to approach it in a way I never have before in any roles I’ve done in the past,” she said. “I felt an insane amount of pressure to get it right because she did represent so many that were affected by the opioid crisis.”
Sarsgaard plays Rick Mountcastle, a real-life person who led the charge to prosecute the case. He says it’s strange to play a real person but in this case, nice to play somewhat of a hero. “It’s nice to play someone who has such noble ambitions, such a selfless kind of purpose,” he said. “I’ve had a career of playing people that were, in various ways, rather dysfunctional, so it was great.”
Dopesick, which premiered in October, earned 14 Emmy nominations including one for Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series as well as acting noms for Keaton, Dever, Sarsgaard, Will Poulter, Michael Stuhlbarg and Mare Winningham.
Check back Monday for the panel video.