A few years ago I was having a conversation with my friend who lives in Europe and is in no way affiliated with the entertainment industry, aside from liking films. We were talking about various acting careers and I said:
“Who’s career would you have if you could?”
He waited a second and then said: “Matthew McConaughey.”
I proceeded to laugh and jumped on him about his films like Surfer Dude and Sahara. I started a McConaughey rant of how he was on pace to be a great actor when he was in A Time To Kill, Amistad, and Contact but then something happened to him and he just started to produce questionable (that’s being kind) movies. I thought that McCounaughey has been on the downfall for a long time and he shouldn’t be taken seriously as an actor.
My friend listened and then countered with: “Yeah but he’s in a bunch of movies, he lives on the beach, and he bangs tons of chicks. It just seems like he has a great life.”
The comment struck some chord with me and I suddenly saw McConaughey for what he may be – The smartest human being in the entire world, with the best career.
I think more times than not we/me judge people by the quality that they produce in Hollywood, letting personal taste interfere with the simple fact that - if you’re able to have a successful career in Los Angeles then you’re doing something right. He’s been at it for nearly 20 years and he’s not going anywhere, so I dug deeper into McConaughey thought, and this is what I know:
- He's sort of been typecast but not really throughout his career. He’s been romantic comedy guy, serious guy, action guy, stoner guy, stoner guy again, then stoner guy, and back to serious guy.
- This is a guy who was arrested for smoking pot and playing the bongo’s naked in his own house.
- Before he was married and living in Texas he lived in Malibu on the beach in some small motor home.
- He walks around with his shirt off more than he walks around with it on.
- He seemingly works out all the time.
- Since 1992 there has never been more than 2 years that we’ve gone without McConaughey in a movie.
- Before he was married he seriously had more girlfriends than days he’s walked around with no shirt.
My friend was right - this guy really does seemingly have a great life, and he’s also somewhat of a quandary. I’ve been looking at him wrong this entire time. Maybe his decline in movies was intentional, or not even true; maybe he never wanted to be anything more than just a working actor who leads a seemingly carefree and healthy life, and maybe more people should model their careers after McConaughey (yes, I just said that).
As I’ve gotten older my appreciation for McConaughey has only grown. I think this guy may be a Hollywood genius. He either has everyone fooled or everything figured out… or both… or neither …. Fuck! Damn you McConaughey! The legend grows.
Lets also never forget that he delivered one of the greatest lines and moments in cinema history: