The Batman star Peter Sarsgaard has disclosed that he was once offered OxyContin by one of his fellow actors. However, the Golden Globe Award-nominated performer didn’t divulge who the other actor was during his admission.
Sarsgaard, who wants to raise awareness about the drug problem in Hollywood, made the revelation during an exclusive chat with Page Six that was published this morning. During the interview, he noted: “I’ve actually been offered OxyContin before by a fellow actor, and I saw what it did to him. So there’s no part of me that wants any of that stuff.
“Because of history in my family with a number of people, I don’t do any stuff. Also, I come from an industry where I’ve seen people die from all kinds of drugs,” the actor added.
In fact, Sarsgaard won’t take any pills or undergo treatments unless his medical team approves it. “I don’t say [a pharmaceutical drug] is OK because the FDA approved it. There were lobbyists that got them to approve it,” he said. “I don’t trust that. I trust my doctor; I have a good doctor.”
The performer shared his thoughts about the drug problem in Hollywood and pharmaceutical medications because he next appears in the dramatic mini-series, Dopesick. The project is set to debut tomorrow, October 13, on Hulu.
Dopesick is about the pharmaceutical company, Purdue Pharma, which is led by the Sackler family, who aggressively sold the highly addictive OxyContin. Sarsgaard plays Rick Mountcastle, the real-life assistant U.S. attorney who led the Justice Department investigation into the conglomerate.
Like others in the cast, including Rosario Dawson, the actor said he was drawn to star in the mini-series because of its subject matter. “I have a personal connection in my life, several personal connections with people that have struggled with this exact thing in one way or another,” he divulged.
The Sackler family has consistently publicly denied responsibility for the opioid crisis that has claimed thousands of lives across America. As a result, the family has been protected from future litigation, after a judge agreed last month to greenlight a bankruptcy reorganization plan for Purdue Pharma.
But Sarsgaard thinks the Sackler family may feel some guilt for their alleged hand in the case. “I mean, they — theoretically, they’re human. They must feel some sense of shame,” he said. “But sometimes when you’re in this deep, cognitive dissonance takes over and you’re not really capable of facing it because it would be too horrible.”
Sarsgaard added that starring in serious projects like Dopesick is satisfying for him as a performer, as such topics are important for Hollywood to explore. However, he isn’t always drawn to those types of roles.
“I also like a bit of diversion,” the actor explained. “I’m totally a person who consumes things that aren’t like this, but I don’t really like things that are sort of in between. … I either want Batman or I want this.”