DUBAI: Saudi-born actress Dina Shihabi has scored a role in Netflix’s upcoming mini-series “Painkiller,” alongside US actor Matthew Broderick.
The limited series will explore the origins of the US’s opioid epidemic and the role played in it by pharmaceuticals giant Purdue Pharma, with Shihabi playing the role of Britt, a veteran sales rep for Purdue.
The actress, who spent part of her childhood in Dubai, was born in Riyadh to Saudi-Norwegian journalist Ali Shihabi and her mother Nadia, who is half-Palestinian and half German-Haitian.
Shihabi took to Instagram to celebrate the announcement, which she revealed by sharing a screenshot of an article by Deadline magazine, which broke the news.
“So excited for this!!!” she captioned the post.
Deadline reported that production on the six-episode limited series will begin later this year in Toronto and Shihabi will co-star alongside Broderick — who is set to play Richard Sackler, scion of the billionaire Sackler family and senior executive at Purdue Pharma — as well as Uzo Aduba, an acclaimed actress who will portray an investigator leading the case against Purdue.
Based on a true story, The New Yorker article “The Family That Built an Empire of Pain” by Patrick Radden Keefe and the book “Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and the Origin of America’s Opioid Epidemic” by Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Barry Meier serve as source material for the series — and both Keefe and Meier have signed on as consultants.
Shihabi moved to the US in 2007 and was the first Middle Eastern-born woman to be accepted to The Juilliard School and the New York University Graduate Acting Program. She began appearing in short films in 2010, but her big break came in 2017 with the role of Hanin in “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan.”
In a previous conversation with Arab News, the actress shared her advice for those who want to make it big in Hollywood.
“Look around to the people that are around you right now and start making things. And focus, hard work, determination, passion (are important). Those are real things,” she said. “I’m still working really hard to make the things I want happen and I don’t think it’s ever going to end. If you choose this life, you are choosing a life where you have to really work hard.”