Painkiller cast: Who's in the Netflix show and where have you seen them before?

The new Netflix series exploring the US opioid drug crisis has viewers wanting to know more about the cast

Three members of the Painkiller cast
(Image credit: Netflix)

It's the new Netflix show that everyone is talking about, so it's no surprise that TV fans want to know more about the Painkiller cast...

Netflix original series Painkiller has viewers gripped with its fictionalised retelling of the opioid crisis in America. The epidemic was fueled by Purdue Pharma, the company owned by billionaire businessman Richard Sackler and the developer of painkiller OxyContin. The troubling tale has left viewers wanting to know where Richard Sackler is now and if Painkiller is a true story, and those who've already raced through the show's six episodes want the Painkiller ending explained.

For those who've already watched Dopesick over on Disney+, Painkiller tells the same tale and is an equally powerful and emotive viewing experience. Similarly, another new Netflix release about the opioid crisis has viewers wondering if Pain Hustlers is based on a true story. The same questions are being asked of Painkiller, so Here's everything to know about the Painkiller cast and where you might have seen them before...

Painkiller cast: Full list

  • 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
  • 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

Uzo Aduba as Edie Flowers

Uzo Aduba as Edie Flowers in Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

Age: 42 | Instagram: @uzoaduba

Edie Flowers is a no-nonsense lawyer who is working for the US Attorney's office in Roanoke, Virginia. She's investigating the new drug, OxyContin, and attempts to bring a case against Purdue Pharma. Though many characters from Painkiller are based on real people, Edie Flowers is made up.

Viewers may recognise Uzo Aduba from her role as Suzanne 'Crazy Eyes' Warren in Netflix's Orange is the New Black, and she has also starred in Mrs America, Lightyear, In Treatment and Solos.

Matthew Broderick as Richard Sackler

Matthew Broderick as Richard Sackler

(Image credit: Netflix)

Age: 61

Richard Sackler is the nephew of Arthur Sackler, the founder of Purdue Pharma, and he steps up to the plate as a senior executive at the company. After Arthur passes away and saddles his family with debt, it’s Richard’s idea to make opiates the company’s profit engine, prompting the major call to replace MS Contin with OxyContin. 

Broderick is known for his roles in cult classic Ferris Bueller's Day Off, being the voice of Simba in the original Lion King movie, WarGames, Godzilla and Inspector Gadget. He's also married to actress Sarah Jessica-Parker, and the pair share three children.

Taylor Kitsch as Glen Kryger

Taylor Kitsch as Glen

(Image credit: Netflix)

Age: 42 | Instagram: @taylorkitsch

Glen is a small business owner and hardworking family man, but after getting injured at work, his doctor soon prescribes him a new miracle drug, OxyContin, which ultimately upends the lives of him and his family.

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.

West Duchovny as Shannon Schaeffer

West Duchovny as Shannon Schaeffer

(Image credit: Netflix)

Age: 24 | Instagram: @westduchovny

Shannon Schaeffer is an ex-college athlete who’s desperate to leave her parents' home in Ohio. She attends a recruitment drive for Purdue Pharma and sees a future for herself that includes money, fast cars and persuading doctors to prescribe OxyContin, landing a job as a new recruit to the Purdue sales team. But as her role becomes increasingly lucrative, she struggles with her conscience.

Duchovny most recently appeared as Alison in Hulu's Saint X, and has also starred in The Magician. In 2018, she appeared alongside her father, David Duchovny, in an episode of The X Files.

Dina Shihabi as Britt Hufford

Dina Shihabi as Brett Hufford

(Image credit: Netflix)

Age: 33 | Instagram: @shihabidina

Britt Hufford is a veteran sales rep for Purdue who recruits and mentors Shannon by showing her the luxurious life she could have. Beneath her unflinching devotion to the company lies deep insecurity. 

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 as US Attorney John Brownlee

Tyler Ritter as John Brownlee

(Image credit: Netlfix)

Age: 38 | Instagram: @atylerritter

John Brownlee is Edie Flowers' new boss, and she works hard to convince him to take down Purdue Pharma. Taking note of Edie's findings, John Brownlee initiates a legal battle to find out the truth behind OxyContin. Unlike Edie, John Browlee's character is based on a real person, who was United States Attorney for the Western District of Virginia from 2001 to 2008.

Ritter has starred in The McCarthys, and Young and Hungry and Arrow, alongside guest roles in Modern Family, Grey's Anatomy and Homecoming.

Carolina Bartczak as Lily Kryger

Carolina Bartczak as Lily Kryger

(Image credit: Netflix)

Age: 37 | Instagram: @carolinabartczak

Lily Kryger is Glen's wife and works alongside him at the garage. Though she tries to support him after his injury, she is pushed to the brink by his increasingly dangerous and harmful behaviours as a result of OxyContin usage. Lily is forced to face up to the reality of Glen's addiction.

Viewers may recognise Bartczak from her role as Magda Lehnsherr, the wife of Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto, in X-Men: Apocalypse. She has also had roles in The Bold Type, Moonfall, Most Dangerous Game and The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe.

Jack Mulhern as Tyler Kryger

Jack Mulhern as Tyler Kryger

(Image credit: Netflix)

Age: 29

Tyler Kryger is Lilly's 17-year-old son and Glen's stepson. He struggles with guilt over Glen's accident, because the incident occurred while they were arguing at their family-owned tire shop, and blames himself for it. He is prone to angst and rebellion, but among his friends, he soon starts to see the lure of OxyContin in his age group.

Mulhern has previously starred in Mare of Easttown, The Society, Wu-Tang: An American Saga, Unconformity and Odd Man Rush.

Clark Gregg as Arthur Sackler

Clark Gregg as Arthur Sackler

(Image credit: Netflix)

Age: 61 | Instagram: @clarkgregg

Arthur Sackler is the patriarch of the Sackler family and founder of Purdue Pharma, and he is the one who realized that the big money in medicine was in sales and marketing. Throughout Painkiller, he appears to Richard as an apparition to guide his nephew in his handling of the family legacy.

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

Ana Cruz Kayne as Brianna Ortiz

Ana Cruz Kayne at the Barbie premiere

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Age: 39 | Instagram: @anacruzkayne

Ana Cruz Kayne portrays Brianna Ortiz, a lawyer who appeared alongside Bill Havens in Painkiller's first episode to discuss the ongoing opioid crisis with Edie Flowers. 

Kayne recently appeared in the Barbie movie as one of the Barbies. The actress' other credits include Little WomenAnother Earth, and Depraved

Sam Anderson as Raymond Sackler

Sam Anderson as Raymond Sackler

(Image credit: Netflix)

Age: 76

Sam Anderson portrays Raymond Sackler in Painkiller, one of the owners of Purdue Pharma. In October 2017, The New Yorker published an article that implied Sackler was morally responsible for the opioid epidemic in the United States.

Anderson is best known for his roles in Perfect StrangersGrowing Pains, and Angel, as well as for portraying Bernard Nadler on Lost.

John Rothman as Mortimer Sackler

John Rothman speaking into a microphone

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Age: 74 | Instagram: @johnnyrothman

Mortimer Sackler is the co-owner of Purdue Pharma and Richard Sackler’s uncle. Rothman is an actor known for his roles in The Devil Wears PradaGhostbustersTaxiPicture Perfect, and Enchanted

John Ales as Dr Gregory Fitzgibbons

John Ales as Dr. Gregory Fitzgibbons

(Image credit: Netflix)

Age: 54 | Instagram: @jackassdog

Gregory Fitzgibbons is a doctor who knows about the dangers of OxyContin. He refuses to prescribe the drug to his patients, despite Purdue's promise of increased profits. 

Ales' past credits include The Nutty ProfessorWho Are You People, and Life of the Party

Jamaal Grant as Shawn Flowers

Age: 42

Shawn Flowers is Edie's brother, who is in prison during the events of the series. Grant's acting credits include The MannyChristmas by the Book, and Super Mighty Makers.

Ron Lea as Bill Havens

Ron Lea plays Bill Havens - one of the lawyers who spoke to Edie Flowers during the show's debut episode about the ongoing opioid crisis amid the legal battle against Purdue Pharma. 

Lea is best known for his roles in ClearcutFixer Upper Mysteries, and Goodnight for Justice

Elsewhere, we've weighed in on the Dopesick vs Painkiller debate. And if you're a fan of true crime, we've also revealed where Ben Field is now - the killer from The Sixth Commandment - as well as the true story behind The Staircase and what happened to Melissa Caddick, who features in a new ITV true crime drama. 

Ellie Hutchings
Family News Editor

Ellie is GoodtoKnow’s Family News Editor and covers all the latest trends in the parenting world - from relationship advice and baby names to wellbeing and self-care ideas for busy mums. Ellie is also an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University. Previously, Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. When she’s not got her nose in a book, you’ll probably find Ellie jogging around her local park, indulging in an insta-worthy restaurant, or watching Netflix’s newest true crime documentary.