Movies | November 19, 2020 12:06 pm

Nelly to Play Chuck Berry in Buddy Holly Biopic

The rapper will play his fellow St. Louis native in "Clear Lake"

rapper Nelly performing
Nelly performs during the Hometown Heroes Drive-In Concert in Hutto, Texas in September 2020.
Gary Miller/Getty Images

Rock legend Chuck Berry will be portrayed by none other than Nelly in a new Buddy Holly biopic, according to Variety.

The rapper will play Berry in Clear Lake, where he’ll be joined by Ruairi O’Connor as Holly, Orange is the New Black‘s Diane Guerrero as Holly’s wife Maria Elena Holly, and Colin Hanks as his manager Norman Petty. The film will be directed by Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss DaisyDouble Jeopardy).

As Variety notes, “Clear Lake tells the story of how Holly and other famous musicians of the late 1950s gave birth to rock ‘n’ roll while changing the trajectory of civil rights in America.” 

Nelly and Berry have a couple things in common: they’re both St. Louis natives, and both have sparked controversy after being accused of various sex crimes. Berry was arrested in 1959 for allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old girl and was sued in 1990 for installing a camera in a women’s bathroom, and in 2017 Nelly was accused of rape by a woman who later recanted her story. In 2018, he settled out of court with a different woman who had accused him of sexual assault.

Berry died in 2017 at the age of 90. Nelly is currently starring on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.

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