WHITE BOY RICK

Matthew Mc­Conaughey and co on the jaw-drop­ping true crime story.

Total Film - - Contents -

“ found it fas­ci­nat­ing, but I didn’t see a film in it,” says Yann De­mange of the true-crime ar­ti­cle that in­spired White Boy Rick. “I wasn’t in­ter­ested in that story. So I passed on ac­quir­ing the rights to the ar­ti­cle, ac­tu­ally.” Not quite how you ex­pect a di­rec­tor to start a con­ver­sa­tion about the source ma­te­rial of their lat­est film.

It’s Septem­ber 2018, and To­tal Film is meet­ing De­mange in a grandiose board­room (“It’s like The Hud­sucker Proxy,” he laughs) in the Fair­mont Royal York ho­tel in Toronto. De­mange and his cast are in town for the Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val, and like the movie it­self, the con­ver­sa­tion moves in not-at-all-ob­vi­ous direc­tions. Per­haps unsurprising, given the true story – the head­line ac­count of it, any­way – falls into the stranger-than-fic­tion bracket.

In the ’80s, Detroit teen Richard Wer­she Jr. (aka ‘White Boy Rick’, due to his out­sider sta­tus in a pre­dom­i­nantly black com­mu­nity) be­came em­broiled with drug deal­ers as the youngest FBI in­for­mant ever, fa­thered a child, and started his own drug-deal­ing racket, all be­fore turn­ing 16. Not that it was ever quite as sim­ple as the head­lines,

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