Sony and Studio 8’s White Boy Rick tells the remarkable true story of teenager Richard Wershe Jr, who became an undercover informant for the FBI during the 1980s and was ultimately arrested for drug-trafficking and sentenced to life in prison. Yann Demange’s sophomore film (after his acclaimed debut ’71) boasts a cast including Matthew McConaughey, newcomer Richie Merritt, Bel Powley, Jonathan Majors, Bruce Dern, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Brian Tyree Henry and Piper Laurie.
Powley, The Diary of a Teenage Girl and Mary Shelley star, plays Richard’s sister, Dawn, a young woman struggling with drug addiction and a dysfunctional family setup. At Deadline’s recent The Contenders London event, she discussed the lengths she went to in order to capture the warped and painful reality of addiction and her difficult relationship with her father, played by McConaughey.
“Our characters don’t get on. I run away from home and he spends a lot of the film trying to get me to come back,” she said. “We stayed away from each other a bit on set to create that push and pull between us. Not in a fully method way, but we gave each other our space and it’s only now during the press tour that we’re spending time together. That was intentional. We didn’t have a laugh or hang out with each other off set.”
Check out the conversation above.