Here’s Why the Cast of Netflix’s New #1 Show ‘Painkiller’ Looks So Familiar

The premiere of Netflix’s Painkiller is finally here. The limited series offers a fictionalized look at America’s opioid epidemic and how it affects victims and their families. Not only is the show directed by Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights), but it also features an all-star cast that deserve all the praise. Plus, Painkiller has already claimed the number one spot on Netflix’s list of most-watched shows after premiering less than a week ago.

The cast list is riddled with seasoned actors (like Uzo Aduba and Matthew Broderick), along with up-and-coming stars who just so happen to be related to other famous names (like West Duchovny and Tyler Ritter).

Keep reading for details on the Painkiller cast.


1. Uzo Aduba

  • Character: Edie Flowers
  • What else she’s been in: Orange Is the New Black, Mrs. America, Lightyear

She’s best known for portraying Suzanne Warren (aka “Crazy Eyes”) on Orange Is the New Black. She has won five Emmy Awards: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (In Treatment), Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie (Mrs. America), Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (Orange Is the New Black—twice) and Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (Orange Is the New Black).


2. Matthew Broderick

  • Character: Richard Sackler
  • What else he’s been in: The Producers, The Cable Guy, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

You know, the guy who played the titular character in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and the husband of Sarah Jessica Parker.


3. West Duchovny

  • Character: Shannon Schaeffer
  • What else she’s been in: A Mouthful of Air, The Magicians, Saint X

She’s the daughter of David Duchovny (The X-Files) and Téa Leoni (Madam Secretary).


4. Taylor Kitsch

  • Character: Glen Kryger
  • What else he’s been in: Friday Night Lights, John Carter, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Waco, True Detective

The actor is widely recognized for portraying Tim Riggins on Friday Night Lights—and now, he’s reunited with FNL director Peter Berg for Painkiller.


5. Dina Shihabi

  • Character: Britt Hufford
  • What else she’s been in: Jack Ryan, Altered Carbon, Daredevil, Cigarette Soup

FYI, she was the first Saudi woman to be accepted to both the Juilliard and NYU Graduate Acting programs.


6. John Rothman

  • Character: Mortimer Sackler
  • What else he’s been in: One Mississippi, Arranged, Prime, Mom I Can Do It

His most popular role is portraying Bill in the Amazon original series One Mississippi.


7. Tyler Ritter

  • Character: US Attorney John Brownlee
  • What else he’s been in: The McCarthys, Modern Family, Grey's Anatomy

Yes, he’s the son of the late John Ritter (8 Simple Rules) and the brother of Jason Ritter (Parenthood).

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Greta Heggeness

Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...
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