Ludacris stars in drama about Black family adopting racist white teen
The rapper has teamed with Amazon Prime to bring the life of BMX legend John Buultjens to the small screen
Ludacris has teamed with Amazon Prime to bring the life of BMX icon John Buultjens to the small screen.
The rapper stars in the upcoming feature The Ride, which details Buultjens’ rocky road to success. His is a tale of abuse, neglect, domestic violence and homelessness in Glasgow, Scottland, before being adopted by Eldridge (Ludacris) and Marianna Buultjens (Sasha Alexander).
Eldridge gifted Buultjens with a BMX bike after he fell in love with cycling when he saw Steven Spielberg’s ET as a kid. He would go on to find fame riding and designing these bikes.
“Any chance I got as a teenager, I was riding this bike and dedicating myself to learning every single thing I could. It became almost an extension of myself. It gave me friends, a community and a feeling of self-belief I had never had before,” Buultjens told The Guardian in a 2018 interview.
His life would become a movie after meeting Hollywood producer Ali Afshar. The two chopped it up about Buultjens’ difficult childhood and how he found redemption through his adoptive family.
“It makes me sick to think about it now but I was ashamed and I used to walk at a distance behind dad. This was a man who did so much for me, and showed me for the first time in my life what love meant, and I was ashamed because he looked different to me,” said Buultjens of his adoptive father, who immigrated from Sri Lanka.
Here’s the official synopsis of The Ride, per Shadow and Act: “From the inspiring true story of extreme sports legend John Buultjens, ‘The Ride’ follows John McCord, an athletically gifted youth who triumphs over a troubled upbringing. After a violent, racially-charged incident lands John (Shane Graham) in juvenile detention, he is finally placed with an unlikely set of foster parents, Eldridge (Ludacris) and Marianna Buultjens (Sasha Alexander), an interracial couple who want to provide a fresh start for the tormented youth.”
“It’s the typical thing you hear in Hollywood, isn’t it: ‘I’ll make your life into a movie’,” Buultjens told The Guardian. “Initially I didn’t really take it seriously. Then things started to become a little more serious and eventually it gained momentum until we heard not only was it getting made, but Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges was going to play my dad.”
Directed by Alex Ranarivelo, The Ride hits Amazon Prime Video on Nov. 13. Check out the trailer above.
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