A retired Dayton-area police officer plays a crooked cop in a film starring the man who made the phrase “alright, alright, alright,” a thing.
Donald W. White Jr., a 17-year veteran with the Riverside police department, spent 10 days in Cleveland and Miami filming the Matthew McConaughey film “White Boy Rick.”
He plays Detroit Police Sgt. Jimmy Harris in the film set to be released next Friday, Sept. 14.
Acting has always been on the Akron native’s bucket list.
He decided to go for it after learning about the role following a church service.
“You try and succeed and realize all the trepidation you had before was unnecessary,” White said.
The role in “White Boy Rick” is his biggest role and one of his first times acting.
“I’ve gotten so much pleasure from actors all my life,” White said. “I know what they do for me, and I want to give some of that back.”
McConaughey was approachable and very friendly, White said.
White and about 10 others, McConaughey included, watched a Cavs’ playoff game in the Miami restaurant The Butcher Shop.
White said he was impressed with McConaughey’s knowledge of meat — the Academy Award winner was born and raised in Texas — and basketball.
“He sounded like a real fan of Cleveland,” White said. “I was surprised. He is legit.”
White does not have a speaking role, but says he will be sprinkled in scenes throughout the film that is set to be released in early 2018.
He plays a henchman of sorts for the mayor of Detroit in the film based on the real-life story of a Detroit crack dealer sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for having roughly 17 pounds of cocaine.
White, now the executive vice president of the leadership development organization Leadership at its Best, participated in several scenes including a car chase and one involving a speech.
White said director Yann Demange is known to be meticulous about casting.
“He decided I was the one for the part, and I was blessed to have it,” he said.
He hopes to be in other movies.
“They showed me a different world of how movies are made,” White said. “It is like being in a different world that you never thought you’d be a part.”