Ruairi O’Connor on playing Buddy Holly in new biopic: “The Beatles drew so much from him”

"It's really exciting – the birth of rock and roll"

Actor Ruairi O’Connor has opened up about playing Buddy Holly in forthcoming biopic Clear Lake.

The rising actor, currently starring opposite Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson in The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, told NME that the new film is set to start shooting this autumn.

“It tells the story of him on the cusp of fame, all the way through his ill-fated ‘Tour of Stars’ to dying in a plane crash,” O’Connor said. “I almost feel strange saying that, as if it’s gauche. It’s been like 60 years, maybe it’s okay to talk about it. I’m terrified of flying as well, so that’s not going to help.”


Ruairi O'Connor
Ruairi O’Connor in ‘The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It’ (Credit: PA Photo/© 2021 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc)

O’Connor also said that he will be singing and playing guitar himself in the film. “I’ve been playing guitar for years, writing really bad music for slightly less years, so it’s going to be great to get up on stage and pretend I wrote these incredible songs.

“I’ve just become obsessed with the Beatles again and you think they are the start of everything, and then you realise how much they drew from Buddy Holly. So it’s really exciting – the birth of rock and roll.”

O’Connor will be starring opposite Nelly as the late Chuck Berry. “What a musician, I’ve been listening to his music constantly since he was cast, as a way of feeling like I’m on set and also just because he’s so good,” the actor said of his co-star.

He went on to say he’s yet to meet Nelly as part of the production, but said it would be “a big moment” when it happens. “What a cultural monument he has been,” he added.

‘The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It’ is in cinemas now