Jonathan Majors on ‘White Boy Rick’ and the Enduring Appeal of Gangster Movies

     September 17, 2018

Now playing in theaters is Yann Demange’s White Boy Rick. The movie is based on the true story of Rick Wershe Jr. (Richie Merritt) who started out selling unlicensed firearms with his dad, Rick Sr. (Matthew McConaughey), in Detroit, but eventually became an FBI informant and a drug kingpin all before the age of 17. The film also stars Bel Powley, Rory Cochrane, RJ Cyler, Jonathan Majors, Brian Tyree Henry, and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

While at TIFF last week, Scott Mantz sat down with Jonathan Majors, who plays drug kingpin Johnny ‘Lil Man’ Curry in the film. During their conversation, they talked about what he thinks the film is truly about, working with a newcomer like Merritt, working with McConaughey, and the appeal of the gangster genre.


Image via Columbia Pictures

Check out the full interview above and a list of what was discussed below.

Jonathan Majors:

  • What he thinks the big takeaway is from the movie.
  • Working with a newcomer like Merritt who has the film on his shoulders.
  • Why Matthew McConaughey is an impressive actor.
  • The enduring appeal of the gangster genre.

Here’s the official synopsis for White Boy Rick:

Set in 1980s Detroit at the height of the crack epidemic and the War on Drugs, WHITE BOY RICK is based on the moving true story of a blue-collar father and his teenage son, Rick Wershe Jr., who became an undercover police informant and later a drug dealer, before he was abandoned by his handlers and sentenced to life in prison.


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