What White Boy Rick Is Really About, According To Matthew McConaughey

Richard and Richie in White Boy Rick

Moviegoers have seen it countless times. The title card at the start of a movie that let's you know it was inspired by true events. And while each of these films have varying levels of accuracy, there's something especially thrilling about seeing an out of this world narrative that happened IRL. That's exactly the case with Yann Demange's new drama White Boy Rick, which has just arrived in theaters. Starring Matthew McConaughey as Richard Wershe Sr., the movie tells the story of a teenage drug king pin and FBI informant, with McConaughey playing the title character's father. CinemaBlend's Sean O'Connell recently had the chance to speak with the actor at the Toronto Film Festival, where McConaughey revealed what is really at the heart of White Boy Rick.

This story's about family. The story for me, from my character's point of view, is about a father slowly losing his son. I can naturally go to 'I'll go to the death bed to keep my family together.' I can naturally go there, I understand that. The other things I had to learn, but I've seen in other people. Single parent homes. Fathers that want to be best friends with their kids instead of being a good parent. People that are living on dreams of the future, but never really follow through to get anything done. And that's who, of course, Rich Sr. is.

While White Boy Rick tells a story that seems truly larger than life, Matthew McConaughey found the universal truths in the movie's story. It's about family, and the real life struggles and imperfections that come with being in one-- regardless of whether your son ends up being a teenage drug lord in the process.

Matthew McConaughey's job as an actor is to bring life into his character, and take the audience along on the director and writer's journey. That process includes tapping into his own psyche, as well as those who are nothing like him. McConaughey has taken a variety of different roles at this point, so he's familiar with this preparation. For White Boy Rick, this meant talking to people whose experience was different than his-- including the stress that comes with single parenting.

Of course, there was also some research to be done regarding the film's real-life figures. Richard Wersche Jr. will forever be a kid for the history books, in regards to both law enforcement and organized crime. This extends to his father, who Matthew McConaughey plays in White Boy Rick.

You can see Sean O'Connell's conversation with Matthew McConaughey below.

The pressure was definitely on for Matthew McConaughey and the rest of the cast to deliver with White Boy Rick, especially as the title character remains to infamous today. He was only recently paroled in 2017, but is back in the system as we speak.

White Boy Rick is in theaters now. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.