Netflix’s latest series Painkiller has gripped viewers with a fictionalised retelling of the causes and consequences of the opioid crisis in America.


The show traces the impact of the pain drug Oxycontin through the lens of the Sackler family, who founded and ran Purdue Pharma, the company which developed the drug which played a central role in America's opioid crisis.

The tragedy is also depicted through the eyes of the teams marketing OxyContin to the public, the lawyers challenging the company and the everyday people whose lives were affected by the drug.

While some characters are based on real people, including Richard Sackler (Matthew Broderick), others are fictional figures loosely based on a collection of real people, including Edie Flowers (played by Uzo Aduba) and Glen Kryger (Taylor Kitsch).

Read on for everything you need to know about the cast of Painkiller.

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Painkiller cast Netflix

The new Netflix drama is home to some stellar performances with the actors listed below. Scroll on to find out more about their characters and where you've seen the actors before.

  • Uzo Aduba as Edie Flowers
  • Matthew Broderick as Richard Sackler
  • Taylor Kitsch as Glen Kryger
  • West Duchovny as Shannon Schaeffer
  • Dina Shihabi as Britt Hufford
  • John Rothman as Mortimer Sackler
  • Tyler Ritter as US Attorney John Brownlee
  • Carolina Bartczak as Lily Kryger
  • Jack Mulhern as Tyler Kryger
  • Clark Gregg as Arthur Sackler
  • Ana Cruz Kayne as Brianna Ortiz
  • Sam Anderson as Raymond Sackler
  • John Rothman as Mortimer Sackler
  • John Ales as Dr Gregory Fitzgibbons
  • Jamaal Grant as Shawn Flowers
  • Ron Lea as Bill Havens

Matthew Broderick plays Richard Sackler

Painkiller - Netflix
Painkiller: Matthew Broderick as Richard Sackler. Keri Anderson/Netflix

Who is Richard Sackler? Richard steps up in the Sackler family and becomes chairman and president of Purdue Pharma, prompting the major call to replace MS Contin with OxyContin.

Where have I seen Matthew Broderick? Broderick is known for a number of roles over the years, from 1986's Ferris Bueller's Day Off, being the voice of Simba in the original Lion King movie, WarGames, Godzilla and Inspector Gadget.

Broderick also has an illustrious Broadway career, having won two Tony Awards, and more recently starring in a Broadway revival of Plaza Suite alongside wife Sarah Jessica Parker.

Uzo Aduba plays Edie Flowers

Uzo Aduba as Edie Flowers, looking out of a window
Painkiller: Uzo Aduba as Edie Flowers. Netflix

Who is Edie Flowers? Edie is a no-nonsense lawyer who is working for the US Attorney's office when, one day, she happens to notice a pattern in prescriptions for OxyContin.

Where have I seen Uzo Aduba? Aduba is perhaps best known for her role as Suzanne 'Crazy Eyes' Warren in Netflix's Orange is the New Black, but has also starred in Mrs America, Lightyear, In Treatment and Solos, to name a few.

West Duchovny plays Shannon Schaeffer

Painkiller - Netflix
Painkiller: West Duchovny as Shannon Shaeffer. Keri Anderson/Netflix

Who is Shannon Schaeffer? Shannon has just left university and doesn't exactly want to move back in with her parents and have a dead-end job. So when she attends a recruitment drive for Purdue Pharma, she sees the future she could have - one that includes money, fast cars and persuading doctors to prescribe OxyContin.

Where have I seen West Duchovny? Duchovny has most recently led the cast of Hulu's Saint X, but has also starred in The Magician and has appeared alongside her father David Duchovny in a 2018 episode of The X Files.

Taylor Kitsch plays Glen Kryger

Painkiller - Netflix
Painkiller: Taylor Kitsch as Glen Kryger. Keri Anderson/Netflix

Who is Glen Kryger? Glen is a small business owner and hardworking family man. But when he gets injured at work, his doctor soon prescribes him a new miracle drug, OxyContin, and we follow his journey as the drug upends him and his family.

Where have I seen Taylor Kitsch? Kitsch is best known for his role as Tim Riggins in the NBC TV series Friday Night Lights, but he has also starred in a number of thrillers including True Detective, The Terminal List, 21 Bridges and Waco.

Dina Shihabi plays Britt Hufford

Painkiller - Netflix
Painkiller: (L to R) West Duchovny as Shannon Shaeffer, Dina Shihabi as Britt Hufford. Keri Anderson/Netflix

Who is Britt Hufford? Britt is a veteran Purdue Pharma sales rep and recruits Shannon quickly, showing her the luxurious life she could have.

Where have I seen Dina Shihabi? Shihabi has appeared in numerous TV shows including Jack Ryan, Altered Carbon, Archive 81 and more recently in Showtime's Ghosts of Beirut.

Tyler Ritter plays US Attorney John Brownlee

Painkiller - Netflix
Painkiller: (L to R) Tyler Ritter as John Brownlee, Uzo Aduba as Edie. Keri Anderson/Netflix

Who is US Attorney John Brownlee? John is Edie's newly appointed and very clean-cut boss who takes note of her Purdue Pharma findings, prompting a legal battle to pursue justice and the truth behind OxyContin.

Where have I seen Tyler Ritter? Ritter has starred in The McCarthys, Young and Hungry and Arrow, as well as having guest roles in Modern Family, Grey's Anatomy and Homecoming.

Carolina Bartczak plays Lily Kryger

Painkiller - Netflix
Painkiller: (L to R) Taylor Kitsch as Glen Kryger, Carolina Bartczak as Lily Kryger. Keri Anderson/Netflix

Who is Lily Kryger? Lily is Glen's wife and works alongside him at the garage. But when he suffers a devastating injury and struggles with OxyContin usage, she has to face up to the reality of his addiction.

Where have I seen Carolina Bartczak? Bartczak is known for her role as Magda Lehnsherr, the wife of Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto, in X-Men: Apocalypse - but has also had roles in The Bold Type, Moonfall, Most Dangerous Game and The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe.

Jack Mulhern plays Tyler Kryger

Painkiller - Netflix
Painkiller: Jack Mulhern as Tyler Kryger. Netflix

Who is Tyler Kryger? Tyler is Lily's teenage son and Glen's step-son, who is involved in Glen's accident and blames himself. But among his friends, he soon starts to see the lure of OxyContin in his age group.

Where have I seen Jack Mulhern? Mulhern has starred in Mare of Easttown, The Society, Wu-Tang: An American Saga, Unconformity and Odd Man Rush.

Clark Gregg plays Arthur Sackler

Painkiller - Netflix
Painkiller: Clark Gregg as Arthur Sackler. Netflix

Who is Arthur Sackler? Arthur is the patriarch of the Sacklers and the original founder of Purdue. But when Richard takes up the reins, he is followed by a vision of Arthur who helps guide him through their family legacy.

Where have I seen Clark Gregg? Gregg is perhaps best known for portraying Agent Phil Coulson in various Marvel Cinematic Universe films and series, as well as starring in The West Wing, How I Met Your Father, Will & Grace, 500 Days of Summer and many more.

Painkiller will be released on Netflix on Thursday 10th August 2023. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV guide and Streaming Guide to see what’s on tonight.


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