NEW YORK – We may have been in the Northeast when we spoke to Matthew McConaughey about his work in Jeff Nichols’ newest film, “Mud,” earlier this week, but the film is all about the South. Or, as McConaughey made clear, the film is not about ‘the South’ as a whole as much as it is about “a specific place there on the Mississippi River in Arkansas.”
The actor does believe that whatever portion of the South is being represented, that portion is essential to the makeup of the story. “From the music, to the sounds, to the look, to the pace, to the tone, [it’s] very much a part of the DNA of this picture.” He went on to say “If you like the picture, that’s part of what you like about it, if you don’t, that’s part of what you don’t like.”
What seems impossible not to like, is McConaughey’s portrayal of the title character. HitFix’s own Kristopher Tapley writes of McConaughey, “Not since David Wooderson has Matthew McConaughey given us a character so magnetic, so charismatic. His Mud is full of wisdom, lies, romance, remorse, honor, disgrace.”
McConaughey himself also seems to like his character and the way Mud talks and thinks, something he believes comes out of the storytelling tradition of the South. The actor quoted one of Mud’s lines to us, “‘Is it true? Well, if it’s not, it oughta be.'” That notion is something McConaughey believes helps make for “a good yarn,” which is what we’re offered with “Mud.”
This particular yarn also stars Reese Witherspoon, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Sam Shepard, and Michael Shannon. Written and directed by Jeff Nichols, it was at the Cannes Film Festival last year and Sundance this year.
“Mud” arrives in theaters this Friday, April 26th.