Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Nelly to play Chuck Berry in new Buddy Holly biopic, Clear Lake

(Photo credits: Nelly (left, ALI AL-NAIMI/AFP via Getty Images), Chuck Berry (right, Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage/Getty Images
(Photo credits: Nelly (left, ALI AL-NAIMI/AFP via Getty Images), Chuck Berry (right, Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage/Getty Images

Today in “It’s getting hot in here, but please don’t take off all your clothes, as there have been serious allegations that someone has put a video camera in this restroom” news: Nelly has been cast to play 20th century musical legend (and occasional PR nightmare) Chuck Berry in an upcoming film. Specifically, the “Country Grammar” star will, per Pitchfork, play Berry in Bruce Beresford’s planned Buddy Holly biopic, portraying a rock superstar he once shared a stage with at a hometown concert in St. Louis, back in 2010.

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Titled Clear Lake—a reference to the location where Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper died in a plane crash in 1959—the film stars The Spanish Princess’ Ruairi O’Connor as Holly himself. Meanwhile, Variety notes that Colin Hanks and Diane Guerrero have also signed on for the project today, playing Holly’s manager Norman Petty and his wife, Maria Elena Holly, respectively.

Although he hasn’t worked extensively as an actor, this certainly isn’t Nelly’s first trip in front of the camera; in addition to his regular music video work, he also co-starred in 2005's The Longest Yard, and had a four-episode arc on CSI: New York in the late 2000s. Berry, of course, is fundamentally inextricable from Holly’s story; the two men tend to trade off the title of “father of rock and roll” in the public consciousness, and both were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1986, the first year the honor was handed out. Berry died in 2017.

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