Two years ago, we posted an open casting call for Matthew McConaughey’s next feature film, White Boy RickAt the time, Simon Casting was casting the lead speaking role for the upcoming feature film. Producers were looking for Caucasian teens ages 14 to 17 years old to play street smart and born hustler in the movie. After countless auditions the

Producers were looking for Caucasian teens ages 14 to 17 years old to play street smart and born hustler in the movie. After countless auditions, Deadline reports producers were finally able to find the right actor. In fact, the lead role went to an unknown teen actor named Richie Merritt with no acting experience.

“This is something that none of us had done before. We searched all over the U.S., the UK and Australia,” Lesher told Deadline. “We auditioned both real kids, with no experience, and also young actors. It was very important to us that we found someone with the authenticity and similarity in his background (to Wershe).” He said Merritt grew up in similar circumstances in that he had the same socio-economic background and was a white kid in an urban environment. “We all just fell in love with him,” Lesher said. “He has a natural charisma.” [via]

According to Deadline, ‘WHITE BOY RICK’ is the latested feature film to be released by Studio 8 and centers around the true story of Richard Wershe Jr. At the age of 14, Wershe became an undercover informant for local and federal law enforcement agencies in the mid-80s, and grew in that role enough to establish himself as a major drug dealer. He went from being an asset to an eyesore for law enforcement in the drug trafficking wars, and he was brought down in 1988–found with 17 pounds of coke at age 17–and sentenced to life without parole.

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