Dopesick’s Kaitlyn Dever Wants Projects With Purpose

With roles like this one and the role you took on in Unbelievable, do these roles stick with you after you’re done?

It’s interesting, I think with, especially with roles like Marie in unbelievable and Betsy and dopesick, there’s a huge responsibility that comes with taking on that kind of role. But I feel like, working on a show like that, on the daily feeling exhausted or tired, or feeling just emotionally drained by a certain scene, on both unbelievable and dopesick, I really checked with the idea that whatever hard day I’m having today, no matter how exhausted I feel, it doesn’t compare to the people that actually are going through addiction have to go through or doesn’t even compare to the people who had dealt with sexual assault. It doesn’t even compare to people who have actually gone through it. When I take on a role like Betsy, I just feel like I have to give everything I have to these characters because the story means so much more than me.

You’ve done a wide variety of projects, like booksmart and Dear Evan Hansen. How would you describe what you’re looking for?

I want to be all over the place. I want to do something that I haven’t done before. I want to do things that are a little scary and definitely nerve-racking. I think that those are the projects that you really grow from. I think that it’s mainly just that I want to do something that was different from the last thing I did. But even more recently, I really do want to be a part of projects that move the needle forward in some way.

When you say move the needle, would you ever want to direct a story of your own someday?

I think so. I really do. My sister is actually an incredible writer. I’ve never really considered myself to be that good of a writer. I have tried—I took a college course on screenwriting once, but I left because I didn’t want to do the presentation.

Because you didn’t want to get up in front of people—as an actress?

Yeah, [laughs] well, whatever, anyway, moving on. My sister’s an incredible writer and we both have talked about in the past year or so, about developing a lot of things together. I am really interested in directing. I think that would be really, really cool, and that I’d definitely be interested in the future.

I stumbled on this fact, which I feel like people may not know about you: Your dad was the voice of Barney for a time and that your parents were ice-skaters. So what was your upbringing like?

My upbringing was awesome. Yes, they were both figure skaters. When I was a baby, they put me on skateboards, like immediately. I was a figure skater but then I got sick of it. When I tell people that my parents were figure skaters, it’s always so random but I love it so much. They went on to teach.


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