Matthew McConaughey recently sat down with country singer Tim McGraw to discuss his career in Hollywood and the 2014 McConaissance. That was a term, the New Yorker coined in regards to the actor completely flipping around his career.
For a period in the 2000s, McConaughey was the go-to man for romantic comedies. He starred in films like “The Wedding Planner” and “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” to the tune of millions of dollars. But in the early 2010s, McConaughey made a stark career change.
He started appearing in lower-budget, more daring films. A turn in “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Killer Joe,” and the TV series “True Detective” reestablished McConaughey’s identity as an actor. But talking with McGraw on his podcast “Beyond the Influence Radio,” McConaughey’s career change wasn’t as easy as it seemed.
“As soon as I was spiritually sound with ‘I may not go back to Hollywood, I’m going to do something else maybe in my life, I didn’t need it.’ I wasn’t looking [for] like, ‘Am I ever [going to work again]?’” McConaughey told McGraw. “Because I found anonymity in those two years — I unbranded — and no one knew where I was. By not being around, they were like, ‘You know who’s a bright new idea? McConaughey for this.’ Then when they came, I jumped on it.”
Matthew McConaughey Says Goodbye to Romantic Comedies
Matthew McConaughey enjoyed his time as Hollywood’s romantic comedy golden boy. And he especially enjoyed the money as well. But he also started to grow bored with getting typecast. He realized the roles he was getting were ones that he could almost play in his sleep. Nothing excited him or scared him about the scripts.
But for some it might have been tough walking away from millions.
“They started at an $8 million offer. I said no. They started $10 million. I say no. They go to $12.5, I said, ‘No, thank you.’ They go to $14.5, I said, ‘Let me read that script again.’ Let me tell you, at $14.5 million, it was the same words as the $8 million offer, but it was a more well-written script, sir. It was a funny script. It had more. But I said no,” the actor continued.
Hollywood realized that McConaughey was serious about no more romantic comedies. For a while, the actor thought he might have committed career suicide. But he stood by his beliefs.
“Now when I said no to that, I do believe that sort an invisible lightning bolt went across Hollywood and they go, ‘Oh, McConaughey is not bluffing. He ain’t kidding.’ Then everything stopped. Nothing came in. For another 14 to 15 months, nothing came in,” he said.
Then the offers picked up again, and as the New Yorker said back in 2014, the McConaissance was born.