Matthew McConaughey is an icon. From The Lincoln Lawyer to True Detective, his performances are memorable, but what about his first movie?
McConaughey’s first movie is unsurprisingly well-remembered for one very specific reason. His first onscreen appearance was 1993’s Dazed and Confused, in which he said his most iconic quote: “Alright, alright, alright.”
In the film, he played David Wooderson. His character is a man in his early 20s who still picks up high school girls. One other famous quote: “That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age.”
However, the former line remains a highly popular quotable. Apparently, it came from an album by The Doors. During a live recording of the show, Morrison said, “Alright, alright, alright, alright.”
“So right before we’re about to go, I’m, like, ‘Well, what is Wooderson about?” said McConaughey. “Man, he’s about four things: He’s about his car, he’s about getting high, he’s about rock n’ roll, and picking up chicks. And I go, ‘I’m in my car, I’m high as a kite, I’m listening to rock ‘n’ roll… Action! And there’s the chick — alright, alright, alright. Three out of four.”
Even now, almost thirty years later, the line remains synonymous with the actor. Just say “alright, alright, alright,” and anyone will know exactly what you’re referring to.
Matthew McConaughey Opens Up About How He Scored First Movie ‘Dazed and Confused’
The story behind Matthew McConaughey scoring his first movie role is just as memorable.
“Everyone has a different story about how they got into this business,” said McConaughey. “What I did, I went into the right bar at the right time and met the right guy.”
McConaughey’s friend Sam Lawrence proved to be the stepping stone he needed. The two met in 1992 when Lawrence met through McConaughey’s then-girlfriend, a cocktail waitress.
“She said to me one day, ‘I’m dating a guy named Matthew. He’s coming in tonight. Don’t be a dick,'” explained Lawrence. “So I’m bartending, and this guy walks in and I instantly hate this motherf—-r, because he is gorgeous. He just immediately makes you feel not attractive because of how attractive he is. I was totally ignoring him and somehow I mentioned something at the bar about Raising Arizona, and her boyfriend just immediately launches into this thing. He had memorized most of the fucking movie!”
Lawrence continued: “We start talking and he’s like, ‘Yeah, I’m finishing up film school.’ And I was like, okay, he’s not a dick. We just hit it off, and we started hanging out that summer like a shit ton. You know when you’re a kid and you just spend a ton of time together over the summer and then you go back to school and everyone goes into another world? It was that kind of relationship.”
Eventually, Lawrence happened to meet the casting director for Dazed and Confused, so he called up McConaughey and the actor went–stoned– to meet the executive at the bar. While there, the two-stage loud, drunken reenactment of a golf match. As a result, they got kicked out, but the experience made the casting director a huge fan of McConaughey, and he landed the part.