Unless you were living under a rock in the early 2000s, you likely saw - or at least heard of - one of Matthew McConaughey's many rom-coms. And with such a successful career under his belt, some were confused when the Texas-born actor stepped away from the genre. But the decision didn't happen overnight.
Matthew certainly didn't suffer during his reign as Hollywood's go-to rom-com guy, but the actor's priorities shifted over the years. In a recent sit-down with AARP, McConaughey reflected on this period of growth. After embracing marriage and fatherhood, suddenly, the lighthearted scripts didn't compliment the Hollywood icon's personal life. "There's a certain buoyancy built into rom-coms that isn't about hanging your hat on humanity like a drama is," he explained. As Matthew's interests were "going very deep," the star found himself wanting more serious projects. But what did such a pivot entail?
Well, as McConaughey soon discovered, it came with some expensive growing pains. "No matter how much of a pay cut I would take, dramas were not being offered to me," the actor lamented. But with the encouragement of wife Camila Alves, Matthew remained determined. This commitment led to a bold move: The actor embarked on a two-year sabbatical, turning down "every rom-com script that came [his] way." In one extreme case, The Gentlemen star and co-producer even shut down a $14.5 million offer. But in the star's own words, "eff the bucks, I'm going for the experience."
In the end, it paid off, and offers started pouring in. "All of a sudden, I became a new, novel idea. The dramas came my way, and I jumped on them," McConaughey said of his rebranding. Following rom-com classics like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Dazed and Confused, Matthew found himself challenged in projects like White Boy Rick and True Detective's first season. Slowly but surely, the small-town actor gained the praise of peers and even won an Oscar and Golden Globes awards.
Looking back, McConaughey dubbed this "McConnaissance" well-worth the temporary struggles. And now, at the age of 51, the legendary actor steers his own ship. Though firmly through with rom-coms, the talented film star has by no means retired from Hollywood. So be sure to check back with us for any upcoming titles...