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FWV division Prix Productions makes major casting announcements for Buddy Holly biopic

by | Nov 23, 2020

Golden Globe nominee Colin Hanks, Screen Actors Guild Award winner Diane Guerrero and Grammy-winning hip hop superstar Nelly have joined the cast of Clear Lake, the Buddy Holly-inspired biopic that is being helmed by Oscar-winning director Bruce Beresford of Driving Miss Daisy and Tender Mercies fame.

Clear Lake is being produced by FWV’s Rick French (Not Without Hope) of Prix Productions and Stuart Benjamin (Oscar-nominated and Grammy-winning producer of Ray and La Bamba) of Stuart Benjamin Productions, in association with BMG, which manages the Buddy Holly estate and controls the U.S. publishing rights to his catalog.

Ruairi O’Connor (The Spanish Princess; The Morning Show) is attached to star as rock & roll pioneer Buddy Holly.

Hanks (Fargo; Mad Men) will co-star as Norman Petty, Holly’s brilliant, but often controlling manager and producer. Hanks is an accomplished actor, director and producer who has appeared in Peter Jackson’s King Kong and several Jumanji series films; and directed the acclaimed music documentaries Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis and All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records.

Orange Is the New Black and Doom Patrol star Guerrero has been cast opposite O’Connor in the role of Maria Elena Holly, the radiant, Puerto Rican born wife of the rock & roll legend, who along with Ritchie Valens, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson and pilot Roger Peterson died in a plane crash outside a snowy Clear Lake, Iowa on February 3, 1959, often referred to as “the day the music died after Don McLean famously immortalized it in his classic hit, “American Pie.”  Guerrero is the best-selling author of “In The Country We Love: My Family Divided,” a memoir about her survival and life after family separation through deportation at a young age.

Nelly, who had a supporting role in the 2005 remake of The Longest Yard and is currently appearing on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, is one of the top-selling rap/hip-hop artists of all time. He is a double certified diamond selling artist with his debut album “Country Grammar” selling over 10 million copies in the U.S. alone. Often referred to as “The Mayor of St. Louis,” Nelly will play a fellow St. Louis icon: Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Chuck Berry.

David Hirshland and Kathy Rivkin Daum (David Crosby: Remember My Name) are producing on behalf of BMG. Maria Elena Holly, Stephen Easley (general counsel to Mrs. Holly and The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation) and Peter Bradley, Jr. of The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation, are associate producers.

Patrick Shanahan, who adapted Easley and French’s original story, penned the screenplay and is a co-producer. He and French are partners in Raleigh-based Prix Productions, with Easley serving as general counsel.

Hanks is represented by United Talent Agency and MGMT Entertainment, as well as Brecheen, Feldman, Breimer, Silver & Thompson; Guerrero is represented by A3 Artists Agency, Vamnation Entertainment and Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein; and Nelly is represented by ICM Partners, J. Erving Management and It Girl PR.

O’Connor is represented by Independent Talent Group, LINK Entertainment, and Rick Genow at Goodman, Genow, Schenkman & Christopher. Beresford is represented by The Gersh Agency, French is represented by Buchwald and Benjamin is represented by Neville Johnson.

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