Matthew McConaughey is preparing to star as "White Boy" Rick Wershe's father in the upcoming film about the imprisoned Detroit man's life.
The accomplished actor is taking the role seriously enough to spend 5 and 1/2 hours this week in the Michigan prison where Wershe is being held. Wershe, who has served 29 years of a life sentence for drug dealing, is hoping this Hollywood movie will help him win his freedom. The 47-year-old was sentenced to prison when he was 17, making him the longest serving juvenile drug offender in the history of Michigan.
Local 4 spoke to "White Boy" this week after his lengthy talk with McConaughey. He was given a room with the actor and a prison official.
Watch Local 4 News at 11 tonight for more on this exclusive interview and the making of the movie.
"He's just a genuine person and I'm glad that he's the one playing the part of my dad," Wershe said. "We talked about life in general, my family, spending all this time in here, life after getting out of here. It was good, just general conversation. He came up and said he wanted to meet me. I think he's real passionate about the story and he sees the injustice in it."
Wershe started working as a Detroit police informant as a teen. McConaughey talked to him about his childhood years and what his dad was like.
"We talked a little bit about how I was as a kid. We talked about my dad and how my dad was, you know, the good and the bad. It was good. It was a good conversation. It was awesome meeting him. I couldn't have had a better day, for a day in prison," he said.
The Hollywood actor is just a regular guy, Wershe said, and the talk made him feel even better about the movie.
"We all talked, laughed, shared some moments. I think people see the movie stars and think a certain way about them, and he's just super down to earth. I couldn't be happier with who they found to play my father. Like I said, I couldn't have a better day in prison ... I came out of it feeling even better," he said.
Listen to the interview with Wershe here:
Scott Franklin and John Lesher are producing the movie. He's won awards for movies including "Black Swan" and "The Wrestler." Yann Demange is directing, fresh off his award winning film "71."
The "White Boy Rick" movie, which is its working title for now, is expected to premier early next year.