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Roanoke author Beth Macy talks success, message of award-winning Hulu series ‘Dopesick’

The show is based on the book written by Macy who is a former Roanoke Times reporter

We catch up with the author whose book inspired the Hulu show "Dopesick."

ROANOKE, Va. – The Hulu show “Dopesick,” which premiered in October, is based on the book by local author and former Roanoke Times reporter, Beth Macy. Some parts of the show were even filmed in Clifton Forge.

The show tells the story of those involved in America’s opioid epidemic.

“I’m very happy with it,” said Macy. “My two things going in were one, I didn’t want Hollywood to stereotype Appalachia and it didn’t,” she said. “And this was my second hope for the show was to give an important message about treatments which would be to not to stigmatize those taking medication-assisted treatment.”

[‘Dopesick’ premiere on Hulu highlights parts of Southwest Virginia]

The Hulu mini-series is nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Critics Choice Awards and this week, won a Golden Globe for Michael Keaton’s character.

“Michael Keaton worked his tail off to get that character right and he has personally lost a relative to an opioid overdose, so this was a passion project for him too,” said Macy.

Macy worked as one of the executive producers and co-writers to help get her book adapted for the screen. Macy credits showrunner, Danny Strong, with the show’s unique format taking viewers through different time periods.

“Danny took 20 years of story and compressed it into eight hours of television in a way that was entertaining but also got a story with so many different phalanges. So many different elements” said Macy.

Macy is currently working on her fourth book, “Raising Lazarus: Hope, Justice, and the Future of America’s Overdose Crisis,” which is set to come out in August.

As for a second season of Dopesick, she says: “There’s more story to tell. I don’t know if there is going to be a season two but I would love for there to be.”


About the Author:

Sydney joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2021.