Michael Keaton Dedicates 'Dopesick' SAG Award Win to Late Nephew Who Died from Drug Addiction

"I lost my nephew Michael to drugs, and it hurts," the Dopesick actor said

michael keaton
Photo: TNT

Michael Keaton gave a heartfelt dedication for his big win.

The Dopesick star, 70, was awarded outstanding actor in a TV movie or miniseries at the 2022 Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday night for his performance in the Hulu addiction drama. At the end of his acceptance speech, the actor got emotional as he dedicated the award to family members he has lost to the drug epidemic.

"I am blessed to be able to do something that might improve someone's life. I'm the most fortunate person," he said, going on to thank more people before tearing up. "Mostly, given the subject matter, this is for my nephew Michael and my sister Pam. I lost my nephew Michael to drugs, and it hurts."

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In August, Keaton opened up to The Hollywood Reporter about taking on Dopesick and the personal connection he had to the story. Keaton's 30-something nephew died of fentanyl and heroin in recent years.

In the limited series, Keaton plays Dr. Samuel Finnix, a family doctor who sees the effects of OxyContin firsthand. The show takes a look at America's opioid crisis through the lens of addicts and big pharma.

"I thought, 'Well, if this is even remotely good, I have to do this.' It happens to be real good," he said of signing on. He added about the eye-opening experience of researching the crisis for the role: "I go, 'Well, we can't be too on-the-head about this. 'And then you start really reading, and you go, 'Holy s---, this makes the tobacco industry look like shoe salesmen.' They were priming everybody. Compare that to some kid selling some weed after he gets off of work at McDonald's. How much harm is that f------ kid doing? This is just some sort of insidious greed."

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Keaton also previously told The Times U.K. that taking the part was influenced by the family connection.

"I can answer real simply: It was a major factor and, after that, I don't talk about it because, frankly, it's like pimping somebody," he said. "Like people pimp their kids. Celebrities go, 'Look what a wonderful parent I am! Look at my adopted child from some third world nation — aren't I groovy?' It's all so pimpy to me. So I choose to say I know what my relationship is and I'm not going to use him to up my celebrity and that I don't need to talk about it."

Keaton previously made history as the first actor to win the SAG award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture three times — for Birdman (2014,) Spotlight (2015) and The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2021).

Others in the category wereMurray Barlett (The White Lotus), Oscar Isaac (Scenes from a Marriage), Ewan McGregor (Halston) and Evan Peters (Mare of Easttown).

The 28th Annual SAG Awards are being broadcast live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Feb. 27.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please contact the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

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