Matthew McConaughey: Turning down lucrative romcom proved point to Hollywood

Matthew Mcconaughey: Turning Down Lucrative Romcom Proved Point To Hollywood
Graham Norton Show – London, © PA Archive/PA Images
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By Alex Green, PA Senior Entertainment Reporter

Matthew McConaughey has said he had to turn down a 14.5 million US dollar (€12 million) role to prove to Hollywood he was not “bluffing” about stepping away from romantic comedies.

The actor was one of the genre’s best known stars and appeared in box office hits including The Wedding Planner, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days and Failure To Launch.

However, in the early 2010s he began turning down such roles in favour of more challenging material, eventually earning parts in critical successes Mud, Dallas Buyers Club and Interstellar.


Appearing on the Constantly Evolving with Eve podcast, McConaughey recalled the support his wife, the model Camila Alves, offered him during this period.

He said: “I’ve always been pretty good with, once I’ve made up my mind on something, saying ‘Stick to it’.


“I’m pretty good at endurance. That time when I took off romantic comedies I didn’t work for two years. I didn’t know if I was ever going to work in Hollywood again.

“I was like, ‘No, just stick to it’. My hunch was I’ll find that anonymity or the world will see me as anonymous again and then maybe I can get the roles I want.

“So I made up my mind early and I made a pact with my wife, I had her by my side for support.

“She said, ‘You’re going to do this, don’t half arse it, I’ve got your back because you’re going to get antsy, we’re going to hold the line here and it’s going to be an endurance test’ – which it was.”

Matthew McConaughey and wife Camila Alves (Ian West/PA)

McConaughey, 51, said he was offered eight million dollars for an unspecified role and rejected it multiple times before the final offer of 14.5 million arrived.

“I gave it another look,” he joked.

“It was the exact same words as the original script, but it was better, it was funnier, it was more dramatic, I had more angles, I think I can make this work.


“Then finally I went ‘No’ and when I said no to that at that number I think it invisibly sent a message to Hollywood – ‘Oh McConaughey is not bluffing, he’s really not doing the romcoms, he’s really stepped out of his zone, and is staking his claim’.

“Then nothing came in for a year, not one submission. I call my agent every week. But over that year I did gain some anonymity. You didn’t see me in the theatre in a romantic comedy.

“After two years, all of a sudden I got the dramas that I wanted to do but it was only because I said no to what I had been doing and stuck to it – so it was an un-branding phase.”

The full episode of Constantly Evolving with Eve is available on BBC Sounds.

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