Danny Strong interview: ‘Dopesick’ director/creator

“I was so blown away that I actually screamed,” Danny Strong admits about the morning he found out he had been nominated for a DGA award. We talked with Strong as part of Gold Derby’s special “Meet the Experts” Q&A roundtable event with 2022 Directors Guild Awards nominees. Watch our exclusive video interview above.

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“I screamed like I was 14 years old, you know, like at a Hanson concert,” he laughs. “I was so happy and completely shocked. I was really hoping Barry Levinson would get nominated. I thought if we had a shot at a nomination, it would be Barry. And then I saw Barry was nominated and I was like, oh, we did it. And then my name was a few after and I was just blown away,” he says, admitting that he is “humbled and just like kind of floored by the whole thing, to be honest with you.”

In addition to directing the final two episodes of the series, Strong (an Emmy winner in 2008 for writing and producing the acclaimed HBO movie “Game Change”) created and co-wrote “Dopesick,” based on the acclaimed non-fiction book “Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company That Addicted America” by Beth Macy. The Hulu series focuses on the deadly opioid crisis that has killed over 800,000 people since the 1990s when the Sackler family’s company Purdue Pharma introduced the highly addictive painkiller Oxycontin, which was advertised as far less habit-forming than other medications. It takes the audience on a harrowing journey by laying out the significant damage that corporate druglords Purdue Pharma have wrought across America. Told in a non-linear, non-chronological way, it toggles between personal stories of its victims and the lawyers and DEA agents going after Purdue.

Oscar nominee Michael Keaton plays Dr. Samuel Finnix, a physician in a small Virginia town, who prescribes the medication to his patients only to witness them becoming addicts and even dying from the drug. Rosario Dawson costars as a no-nonsense DEA agent doggedly determined to bring an end to the opioid nightmare, alongside Thomasin McKenzie plays a young coal miner who begins taking the drug after a back injury.

Strong is nominated by the DGA this year for the series finale entitled “The People vs. Purdue Pharma,” which brings together all of the narrative threads built up over the previous seven episodes and culminates in a satisfying yet bittersweet battle between the evil corporation, the family behind it, the victims of the insidious drug and the government agencies hell-bent on taking them down.

One thought on “Danny Strong interview: ‘Dopesick’ director/creator”

  1. How did this movie helped the Victims. They already knows what happen. But the DOJ sue big time. the company and its owner maded out like a fat rat and the doctors got kickbacks. So once again the victims got nothing.

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UPLOADED Jul 12, 2022 2:00 pm