Matthew McConaughey: ‘I’m not asking for permission to come in anymore’

I’ve spent the past decade not thinking much about Matthew McConaughey. I thought he was a relatively harmless hippie, playing his bongo drums, getting high and doing dumb romantic comedies. I thought of him the same way I think of Kate Hudson – harmless, kind of fun, not evil, not horrible people. They don’t whine, they’re not playing the victim, they’re just maintaining and not really challenging anybody or anything. But somewhere along the line in the past year or two, Matthew’s do-no-harm trajectory changed for the better. Matthew started signing on for meatier character work and “important” films. And what’s even more surprising is that he’s turning in great, critically acclaimed, award-winning performances nowadays.

2013 is The Year of Cumberbatch, of course, and The Year of McAvoy… but is it also The Year of McConaughey? He’s got Dallas Buyer’s Club coming out later this year, and I feel strongly that he will be an Oscar contender. He’s also got a supporting part in The Wolf of Wall Street, a prestige film directed by Martin Scorsese starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill. And MM has an interesting little film called Mud, which comes out soon. He plays a “lovesick fugitive who charms two kids into helping him get a boat out of a tree to save his girl (Reese Witherspoon) from some baddies.” That’s why he scored the cover of Details – he’s promoting Mud. The whole interview is pretty good (he’s SO laidback). Here are some highlights:

His family changed his career: “I never said, ‘Oh, I want to go do darker or edgier stuff,’ I just said, ‘I’m going to take some time off. I have to take care of my family right now. We’ve got the means in the bank account, we’ve got a roof over our head, we’re gonna eat well, we’re fine. So let’s take some introspective time.’ It wasn’t a mini-retirement. It was just that I wanted to listen to myself and be a bit more discerning.”

On the endless rom-coms he was doing: “I enjoyed what I was doing, but I felt like I did it last time and I can do it again tomorrow. I just wanted to shake in my boots a little bit. I want to go deal with some real consequence in films. I remember writing this down: ‘I want to be able to hang my hat on the humanity of the character every day.’”

His family comes with him on location: “Papa goes to work, the circus goes with him,” he says, pleased.

On Camila Alves: “I’ve got a wife who challenges me. There were two movies I wanted to do last year, but they were back-to-back with no separation. She was like, ‘You want to do it—buck up, grab your nuts, and make it happen. We’ll be there with you.’”

Jennifer Garner loves him: “He is who he is, no matter what the project—friendly, funny, and focused. But he was on another plane altogether making [Dallas Buyer’s Club]. I’m not sure if Matthew has changed from fatherhood, marriage, or just regular growing up—but he was more vulnerable and also more scary this time around.”

How he’s changed: “I’m not asking for permission to come in anymore. How do I say that the right way? ‘Cause you could take this and make me look like a real a–hole. I’m just as thankful now as I ever was. But I’m choosing to be more selfish. I remember feeling not sure about what I wanted to do and feeling—I’m not sure despondent is the right word, but a feeling like things are plateauing. I wanted more evolution. I want to feel ascension in the grade. Because I was feeling a lot of ascension in my personal life, qualitative evolution. I wanted to close the gap between who I am and the life I’m living and my work life. So I think I got really selfish. You start a family and you get selfish.”

He doesn’t have time for friends: “I do have less time for friends now,” he admits. “My close friends have had to come to understand that I can’t just throw on a backpack and say, ‘We’ll be back in four days.’”

On Lance Armstrong: “He told a lie, he’s not a liar,” McConaughey says, a little uneasily. “When it came out, I took it personally, but then I realized it ain’t personal to him. I was going, ‘That son of a bitch!’ but then I thought, ‘Well, what was he supposed to do? Call me to the side and go, “Hey, I did this”?’ But I’m happy for him now, because despite all this outside conflict, he doesn’t have this inner conflict anymore.”

[From Details]

Yeah, he’s still a hippie. All of that talk of “inner conflict” and “qualitative evolution” is giving me a Patchouli headache. But he’s a hippie with his heart in the right place, I believe. I don’t like his answer on the Lance Armstrong thing, but I guess Matthew is trying to be classy and not throw his former friend under the bus completely. And you know what? Eleven months from now, I truly and genuinely think Matthew is going to be one of the leading contenders for the Best Actor Oscar. No joke. JK Livin, Oscar winner?

Photos courtesy of Details.

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41 Responses to “Matthew McConaughey: ‘I’m not asking for permission to come in anymore’”

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  1. poppy says:

    he’s right about lance armstrong, it wasn’t personal.
    that would have meant lance armstrong gave a rat’s a$$ about anyone but himself and that has never been the case. ever.

  2. Cassie says:

    Oh, yes, please. Feel free to come in without knocking! Anytime, babe.

  3. marie says:

    I like McConaughey, always have, glad to see he’s taking on harder roles. My favorite will always be Dazed and Confused though..

    “you just gotta keep on livin’, man. LIVIN”

    (and yes I realize he wasn’t great in that movie, but I don’t care)

  4. Mom2two says:

    I like him too, I really believe he is one of those people Hollywood has not changed. I am glad he is taking roles that prove he can act and not just be beefcake,

    • T.Fanty says:

      One of my friends was at UT in the 90s, when he first hit big. He was a legend among the Austin college crowd, for hitting college bars after the football games, buying drinks and just being an all-round great guy.

      • mommak918 says:

        As a proud “Texas Ex” (What we call a UT Alum down here in Austin) I’ve been lucky to run into Mr. MM. a few times. I graduated in the same field as he, Radio -television-and film. He often would come give speeches at our department….and attend our football games. Also, you could easily catch him running Town Lake on random days. He always is kind, respectful and humbled when approached our asked for a picture. He is a good ole boy!

      • T.Fanty says:

        That just strikes me as so typical of UT. I’ve been to Austin a couple of times and LOVE it. I’m already teaching my children to chant “Hook ‘em Horns!” in the hope that I can brainwash them enough to go to college there.

  5. Miss Kiki says:

    I feel the same about Mcconaughey. I’ve never actively disliked him, he was just romcom guy but somewhere in the last few years he’s really grown on me and now I kind of love him.

  6. Abby says:

    I love his interviews. I love him in movies, and I love his Reliant Energy commercials. There, I said it.

  7. Borrowed Ladder says:

    He bores me and I can’t remember seeing him in anything I liked.

  8. judyjudy says:

    What a handsome, handsome man.

  9. arock says:

    this man is a happy sigh, a pat on the leg from someone you love, a kitty laying in the sun, his acting is good and his presence is genuine. in short- i dig this guy.

  10. Chickie Baby says:

    I love Matt. Always have. Been watching him since that first appearance onscreen as Wooderson. He’s still a hippy, but that’s part of his charm, and it seems like he’s really growing and evolving into the best years of his life and career. Hope he continues to move into more challenging roles.

  11. MAP says:

    I remember he was on some magazine cover in 1995 (yes, I am that old), and he was so so so handsome. And I’ve liked him ever since. I probably quote Dazed and Confused once a week. Good for him.

  12. Bijlee says:

    Lol remember when people made so much fun of him for not being able to act? He only took his shirt off? haha. aww i’ve always liked him, especially after Sahara which is just a kind of lame movie, but it’s FUN.

  13. Thiajoka says:

    He was good in “Bernie” as well. As was everyone in the movie.

  14. NeoCleo says:

    I’ve always found him to be a natural actor, someone who just fits into a role and often disappears. The last thing I saw him in was “Bernie” where he played the DA for a small town and he was hilarious. I was at least a half into the movie before I realized it was him.

  15. jenn says:

    The last three films I’ve seen him in–Killer Joe, Magic Mike and The Paperboy–I really enjoyed his performance in. The movies themselves aren’t that great, but he shines through them. I love his attitude and don’t mind how easy on the eyes he is.

  16. megsie says:

    I love Matt. He’s a talented actor and it’s great to see he’s raised the bar for himself. Looks like he’s really come into his own, professionaly and personally.

  17. maitri says:

    why is personal evolution a hippie thing? are the rest of ya’ll in this life to just be on auto pilot, not have new levels of experience of yourself in the world and in your relationships?
    I’m serious; I thought this is the point of life? Sure, there are some vacuous people and that is their gig, what they enjoy about hanging out on planet earth-but everyone else falls somewhere in the middle, right?

    If not,then i’m in more of a minority than i thought-lol, and i guess fellow scorpion MM and I are devout hippies. [OR, it's the scorpio thing-yea, i know, astrology is a joke and a hippie thing too(:]

  18. Debz says:

    I literally ran into him at Old Tipitina’s (New Orleans) on New Year’s 1996) when he was still with Sandra Bullock. What.A.1000.Watt.Smile.

  19. KellyinSeattle says:

    He seems fun and goofy.

  20. Holly Hobby says:

    I remember bring on a business trip in NY and his picture was on the cover of Vanity Fair. What a handsome man! This was right before the release of A Time to Kill. That was a great movie and he can so act.

    I’ve also seen and liked the Lincoln Lawyer.

  21. debisis says:

    Matt is too hot to be skinny. Though, he’s got one of the most honest personalities in Hollywood. Please just don’t lose that hair, Matt, NOOO!

  22. Jay says:

    I used to get this really mega-sleazy vibe from him…but one of my sister’s friends met him once, and she said that he was an absolute sweetheart to her and all of the people with her, and that he seemed like a really genuine and nice guy. (Apparently they found where he was staying during a shoot or something and he was totally cool and invited them in and hung out with them and stuff?) Can’t hate on a guy who’s so sweet to his fans.

  23. Mrs. Ari Gold says:

    I’ve always felt that he was a brilliant character & comedic actor but got pigeon-holed into being a leading man because of his leading good looks and major star quality. Kind of like what happened to Alec Baldwin initially until he found 30 Rock. I agree that we are about to see MC become a major actor contender and get a lot of nominations and awards. Love him!