Who is 'White Boy Rick,' and why is there a movie about him?


You may have seen a preview for a new film with Matthew McConaughey called "White Boy Rick" and asked yourself, "Who is White Boy Rick, and why is there a movie about him?"

Well, if you're not from the Detroit area, where White Boy Rick hails from, then you probably don't know the insane story about a 14-year-old kid turned FBI informant, turned actual drug dealer. 

Even beyond a major motion picture, White Boy Rick's story has even inspired a captivating eight-episode podcast that details every aspect of White Boy Rick's life, from his early years learning everything he can about local drug dealers, to his time spent in prison. 

So before you go ahead to buy your tickets "White Boy Rick's" Sept. 14 release or plug in the headphones for the podcast, get to know him a little better with some quick facts about his life and the movie.

  • Newcomer actor Richie Merritt will portray Richard Wershe Jr., aka White Boy Rick, who somehow became an FBI informant at the very young age of 14 when Detroit's national profile began to become associated with drugs and crime. 
  • Matthew McConaughey plays White Boy Rick's father, Richard Wershe Sr., who was also an informant for the FBI. Wershe would go on assignments from the police with his father until he felt comfortable acting alone. 
  • By the time Wershe was 16 he was no longer an informant for the FBI, but he continued to deal drugs without the FBI's knowledge.
  • Wershe's nickname "White Boy Rick" surprisingly didn't come from his time selling drugs, but from reporters who were covering the story in the late '80s. 
  • At 17, Wershe was caught with 650 grams on cocaine and was sentenced to life without parole. In Michigan, the law was repealed in 1988 and Wershe was the last person convicted under the law to be granted parole. 
  • Wershe was released from prison in Michigan in 2017, but he unfortunately had to go serve time in Florida, where he was convicted for participating in a car-theft scheme. 
  • Wershe could be in prison in Florida for about two years, but is hoping to get out sooner. 
  • The film is already getting Oscar buzz with a potential Best Supporting Actor nomination for McConaughey. 
  • Despite the film taking place in Detroit, the film was shot in Cleveland. 

"White Boy Rick" premieres in theatres on Sept. 14. and the entire eight-episode podcast is available for download. 


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