The 1993 classic Dazed And Confused boasted a ton of well known and soon-to-be-well-known actors, but the only one that most people remember is Matthew McConaughey playing David Wooderson. Yes, all those impressions and gifs had a source other than True Dectective, and that was Wooderson, the smooth-talking, kinda pervy legend. But how did that character come to be?
The then-unknown McConaughey nabbed his first speaking role in a feature film as Wooderson, and the origin story of how he got into such a big role is even McConaughey-esque. The actor just happened to meet casting director Don Phillips at a bar in Austin and was invited to audition for the character, who only had a few lines in the original script. McConaughey spent weeks rehearsing them, using his brother as inspiration, so that by the time he auditioned, he easily got it. You can see he’s got the character locked down already in his original audition tape. On the first day on set, McConaughey improvised the “alright, alright, alright” line, a catchphrase he says was inspired by rocker Jim Morrison. And there just aren’t enough Emmy nominations in the world to let him live that down. Director Richard Linklater added more Wooderson to Dazed And Confused, and the rest is a foggy, nostalgic history.
In 2012, McConaughey brought Wooderson back to life for a music video by Butch Walker and the Black Widows, proving that Wooderson stays the same age…forever.It’s an origin story for a character that only gets better when you realize it’s also the origin story for Rust Cohle, because all of McConaughey’s roles are just a flat circle.