Taylor Kitsch, currently starring with Chris Pratt in Amazon’s Terminal list, which next launched a series of streaming articles about the origins of the opioid crisis. Though the premise sounds familiar to Emmy-nominated Hulu Dopesick, that doesn’t make it difficult for the 41-year-old actor.
“We were pumped about it and didn’t worry after Dopesicknot at all,” said Kitsch The Hollywood Reporter in Terminal list premiere. “We’re a very different show and when you have Pete Berg at the helm, you know we’re not messing around.”
In the Netflix series, Kitsch works again with frequent collaborator Berg (whom he worked with Friday Night Lights, Battleship and Lonely Survivor) to play the role of an addict. The series has no release date, partly based on the work of Patrick Radden Keefe New Yorkers The article was titled “Families Build a Tragedy Empire.” The Kitsch stars face off against Uzo Aduba, Matthew Broderick, West Duchovny, Carolina Bartczak and Jack Mulhern.
“Addiction, buddy. It’s a conversation I’m excited about because it affects me on a level with the people I know,” he explains. (Kitsch opened for Mr. about his best friend’s battle with addiction and how he helped that friend find treatment through the ups and downs of his illness.) “It’s probably the job I’m most proud of. Discover the truth that comes from [addiction] and how we did it and how we filmed it. It’s very curt and the storytelling makes no sense. I can’t wait any longer.”
Neither can Hollywood. Outside Dopesick and AnalgesicIt was recently reported that Hilary Swank, Jack Reynor and Olivia Cooke ended their opioid-themed thriller. Mother milk. That film, directed by Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, revolves around a journalist who forms an alliance with his late son’s pregnant girlfriend to track down those responsible for his murder only to discover uncover a world of drugs and corruption in upstate New York. The new projects come amid news from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the number of drug overdose deaths in the US is on the rise, up 15% in 2021 compared to data. Data 2020. According to the figures, the number of deaths from opioid overdose has increased from an estimated 70,029 in 2020 to 80,816 in 2021.
Back to Kitsch. The veteran star, who has played a fair share of roles in the movies, seems very interested in returning to his roots on the small screen. “I actually prefer the slow burn,” he said, pointing out how the plot unfolds in Terminal list. “Especially for the kind of show where we can lead and fool [the viewer] throughout, and do so on slower deployments. I like that as an actor. You have more time to breathe.”
A version of this story first appeared in the July 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter. Click here to subscribe.