Dominic Fike appeared at the Variety Studio presented by Audible while attending the Sundance Film Festival and compared his experiences playing a character struggling with drug addiction on HBO’s “Euphoria” and his new Sundance premiere, “Little Death.” The latter title marks the feature directorial debut of music video helmer Jack Begert, who happens to be one of Fike’s friends.
Fike has been open in the past about his real-life addiction struggles, so his proximity to Berget made playing a drug addiction in “Little Death” a bit easier than playing one in “Euphoria.”
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“I’ve done that before, like acted like a drug addict,” Fike said. “I actually am a pretty big drug addict myself, believe it or not. When I was on ‘Euphoria,’ they kind of just gave me a coach who would just talk to you. It was just some random lady. Jack is one of my best friends so it made it a lot easier, obviously.”
Fike starred on “Euphoria” Season 2 as Elliot, a drug user who perpetuates Rue’s relapse and finds himself in a love triangle with Rue (Zendaya) and Jules (Hunter Schafer). Fike said last year that the show’s creator, Sam Levinson, tried to hire a “sober coach” to keep him clean in real life, but the plan failed.
Speaking to Variety’s Matt Donnelly at Sundance, Fike said the sober coach was “a random lady that i’d never relate to. We had nothing in common. We didn’t come from the same places or the same problems. It was hard to take advice from someone like that or give a shit.”
As for the upcoming third season of “Euphoria,” Fike was unsure whether or not Elliot will return. He said rejoining the show “would be dope,” but noted: “I don’t really talk to them anymore.”
In “Little Death,” Fike stars opposite Talia Ryder as a taco trunk owner searching for his next opioid fix. The film co-stars “Friends” favorite David Schwimmer as a Hollywood screenwriter having a midlife identity crisis. The film is seeking distribution out of Sundance.
“I have so much empathy for [drug addiction],” filmmaker Begert told Variety. “So many people get defined completely as addicts and that’s not how I look at people. That’s sort of what I was trying to do with the movie.”
Actor Gaby Hoffman added, “It’s part of what is so sinister about it, this pharmaceutical industry supported by our government is normalizing drug addiction and using it as the default again and again and again. They’re homicidal maniacs these people who are profiting off our addiction. Our suicide rates are higher than ever. We will look back on this as probably the most defining criminal moment of our lives. We’ve probably all lost people to this.”
Watch the full conversation with the movie’s director and cast in the video above.
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