Kaitlyn Dever Interview: Dopesick | Screen Rant

Hulu's Dopesick is an 8 episode miniseries that dives into America's battle with opioids, premiering on October 13. Based on the highly acclaimed book by journalist Beth Macy, the series spans four timelines and various stories that cover important parts of the fight against Big Pharma and the havoc drug companies wreaked on the country - especially Appalachia.

Adapted for television by Danny Strong (Empire), the ensemble is full of all-star talents such as Michael Keaton (Spider-Man: Homecoming), Peter Sarsgaard (The Batman), Will Poulter (Midsommar), and Rosario Dawson (The Mandalorian). One significant plot revolves around a Virginian mining town, where young Besty (Kaitlyn Dever, Dear Evan Hansen) finds her dreams crushed by a work accident requiring her to become dependent on OxyContin for any semblance of normalcy.

Related: 10 Great Drama Shows To Binge On Hulu Right Now

Dever spoke to Screen Rant about tackling Betsy's struggles and working with onscreen legend Michael Keaton.

Screen Rant: What is it about Dopesick's approach to the opioid crisis that made you want to jump on board and made you excited about the role?

Kaitlyn Dever: Yeah, the approach was honesty, and I think that is the most important element here. Because in the past - definitely with things I've seen - when addiction is handled in film, sometimes I feel like it is a bit romanticized or it's just simply sugar-coated. And I think this show doesn't do any of that.

With Danny [Strong]'s writing, he's so brilliant and so talented. But when I spoke with him about the show, he wanted it to be really honest. Here's the story, here's what it is, this is real and this is what people were going through. I think it's also really important to see both sides of the story, and the cause and the effect of it. That's really what attracted me: how compelling and grounded it was.

I also really love the dynamic that your character has with Dr. Finnix. Can you talk about that relationship and working with Michael Keaton?

Kaitlyn Dever: I love their relationship. I fell in love with it when I read the first couple of episodes. She is someone that is very internal; she does her job and goes to work and comes home and lives in her head, and I think that Doctor Finnix is the one person she feels like she can really talk to and open up to.

I just loved getting to play those scenes with Michael. He's so giving and kind with his performance, and watching him was truly [amazing]. He's a bucket list actor for me, but working with him was so cool because he's saying these lines and you just believe every single word he says because he's that good. Take after take, he was just so there, and I really loved it. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Early on, there is quite a bit of tension for Betsy between staying in her mining town with her family and leaving to pursue something or someone that she loves. Can you talk about her being trapped between a rock and a hard place?

Kaitlyn Dever: Yeah, that's exactly where she is. Her whole life, she's just been so dedicated to her job that - for many people that she grew up around - leaving wasn't really an option, or no one ever really considered it. Especially because she loved what she was doing.

But she also loved the person that she was in a relationship with, and so she makes that decision early on. She makes a plan, and I think it's a hard decision for her to make at first. She's afraid to do it, but I think at the end of the day, ultimately she wanted to be with her girlfriend and was willing to make that sacrifice.

But I think also, from then on, that's the tragedy that she faces. As soon as she takes her first Oxy pill, there's a moment in which there's a lot of hope for her and the feeling that she can finally live and live without pain. And then that all completely shatters and gets completely ruined by the drug.

More: The Pharmacist: Biggest Reveals From Opioid Documentary

The first three episodes of Dopesick premiere October 13 on Hulu, with new episodes streaming weekly.

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