For well over a decade, Matthew McConaughey made a living basically playing the same character in the same type of movie. But then something changed in his personal life and he knew he needed to transition… if only it were that easy.
"So I'm rolling in rom-coms, they're very successful. I'm the rom-com guy," the actor said on the Oct. 20 episode of Barstool Sports' "Pardon My Take" podcast. "They're fun. They're easy. I like doing them. They pay well. They're paying for the rent of my house on the beach that I'm running around surfing shirtless on. I'm going, 'Hell, yeah!'"
While in the midst of this, he met his wife. Camila Alves. He then knew he needed to take on different roles.
"All of a sudden my life is more full than it's ever been. My life is vital, man. I've had a newborn. I'm finally a father. I've met the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with. You know, I laugh louder. I love harder. I have more rage. I have more joy. Life is just full. … But in my work, I'm feeling kind of like, 'Ehh!' I can get another rom-com — I could do that tomorrow morning," he said.
For more than a year and a half, Matthew declined romantic comedy role after romantic comedy role. Unfortunately, that was essentially all that was being offered to him
"Those movies I wanted to do, they were like, 'No, not with you McConaughey — you're the rom-com shirtless guy. We're not gonna let you do this movie,'" he recalled. "So I said if I can't do what I want to do, I'm going to quit doing what I've been doing."
When he committed to his word, Hollywood paid attention and started considering him for more dramatic roles.
"So another year goes by. Nothing comes in. Nothing comes in. I talk to my agent every couple of weeks. It's just like nothing. Nothing. A total of 20 months went by, and all of a sudden, 'Killer Joe' comes my way, 'Mud' comes my way, 'Magic Mike' comes my way, 'The Paperboy,' 'True Detective,' I can get 'Dallas Buyers Club' made," he said. "All of a sudden, these movies and this run that I went on come to me."
The importance of Matthew's temporary Hollywood hiatus isn't lost on him.
"I unbranded in that 20 months. You didn't see me. The industry didn't see me as a rom-com guy. You didn't see me in the tabloids shirtless on the beach," he said. "So all of a sudden, Matthew McConaughey for this dramatic role is now a new novel, good idea — and a good idea that I wouldn't have been 20 months prior. So I unbranded to rebrand basically."
The same day Matthew chatted with Barstool Sports, his new memoir, "Greenlights," debuted. He also produced a one-time special show on Spotify to coincide with the book release.