Matthew McConaughey: Misunderstood Hunk Thespian.
Life was different before The McConaissance and we once lived in an era where the Lincoln spokesmuser was largely a rom-com proposition. (The freedom for ambitious Gold hairstyling was a long way away.) Speaking with The Guardian, McConaughey was remarkably open about what happened when he stopped saying yes to playing the handsome romantic lead. Namely, “nothing.”
“So the anxiety was, well, how long is nothing going to come in?” recalls the Oscar-approved actor. “Having a family helps, but I feel like I always need to be accomplishing something, for my own happiness and significance. I gotta work. The anxiety was in how long will it be dry, how long will we get nothing?”
This period of nothing came after the Dallas Buyers Club star wrapped up a run of romantic fare in the ’00s with the notorious A Christmas Carol inspired flop Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. (Really happened, not a shared hallucination.) McConaughey would later get critical raves for his ambitious work in things like Bernie, Mud and True Detective, but that dry spell bridging the gap highlights Hollywood’s limited view of the actor at the time.
“My agent did a good job saying no, no, no,” he explained. “Then the studios got the message and quit sending them. Then there was an impasse of nothing. And there was nothing for about eight months.”
McConaughey acknowledges that he wasn’t covered and soot and wandering the country carrying a bindle after saying no, but the experience gave him a slogan that his recent career has clearly been shaped by.
He wrote down a motto on a piece of paper, which he referred to whenever he felt his nerve giving way. “I wrote, ‘F*ck the bucks – I’m going for the experience.’” And so when, finally, the script for William Friedkin’s gothic thriller Killer Joe came in, McConaughey was ready.
(Via The Guardian)