Matthew McConaughey Talks Up Texas, a 'Very Progressive State'
By Nicki Gostin Posted Mar 17th 2011 10:40PM
Alright alright alright, the Internet is ripe for a free-wheeling discussion with strapping actor Matthew McConaughey, about nearly losing his 20s to law school and how he parlayed his first film ('Dazed and Confused') into a massive career, ranging from cheesy Disney movies with "that guy from 'Taxi'" to a slew of romantic comedies. McConaughey spoke with PopEater on the eve of the release of 'The Lincoln Lawyer,' which brings him back to his legal roots 16 years after becoming a star with 'A Time to Kill.' We also learned the Uvalde (here) native is extremely passionate about his beloved Texas.
"Texas is rooted in a real traditional code yet at the same time it's not stuck, it's a very progressive state," he said. "It's a real nice balance of that. There's a lot of honor and pride in it."
What are you doing right this second?
Sitting in the back seat of a Lincoln and driving to a screening of 'Lincoln Lawyer.'
So is that going to be your shtick now?
I'm just gonna drive around, roll the back down and say everything from the backseat of the car.
You became a big star in 'A Time To Kill,' and now here you are playing a lawyer again.
Sixteen years later. I didn't necessarily know that going in or plan it, but after making 'Lincoln Lawyer' and seeing it, it does have a little circular feel to it.
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No, I know exactly what I was doing in all those years! It doesn't seem that long ago, but I've filled up that time doing a lot of other work.
You were going to study law in college.
That's where I was headed, a criminal defense lawyer, that's what I wanted to be. What's great now is I can do it for five months and then quit and then go do something else. The reason I changed my mind in college is because I looked up one day and I was 22 and I thought, whoa man, I graduate and then I need to go do another four years. I'll be 28 years old before I'm actually getting out and giving back to society and practicing my craft. I was like I don't want to miss my 20s just studying so thankfully I changed.
Things happened really quickly for you.
My first film, 'Dazed and Confused,' was during my senior year. Then I graduated and drove out to LA with a production assistant's job and then I got a meeting with someone off 'Dazed' and that got me an agent and my first audition in Hollywood was for 'Boys on the Side.' Then I did 'Angels in the Outfield' with that guy from 'Taxi.'
No, the main guy.
Judd Hirsch? Tony Danza?
I remember that film. It was a bit cheesy.
It was a Disney kids movie. The audition for that was I walked in and the producer says, 'Oh look at you. You look like an all American kid. Ever played baseball?' '12 years.' 'You've got the part.' And then Joel Schumacher gave me a really righteous chance to test for 'A Time To Kill,' and that was the game changer.
How are Texans different from the rest of us?
We sure love our state, don't we? When people say where are you from and you say Texas they know where it is, even internationally. There aren't many other states, minus New York and California, you can say that with. Texas is rooted in a real traditional code yet at the same time it's not stuck, it's a very progressive state. It's a real nice balance of that. There's a lot of honor and pride in it.
Do you have any belt buckles in the shape of Texas?
Oh, it's a great outline, isn't it? I've got one of those.
Ever wear bolos?
I love bolos. I wore them about 20 years ago.
Yeah, they'd be hard to wear now on the beach.
You could pull off a bolo on the beach, but you'd have to really commit. You'd have to come out with a different bolo every day.
You really are great in romantic comedies.
The challenge of those is to keep them buoyant. They are, by design, light, not lightweight but light. You have to keep them sailing on the surface. The challenge is you want to dig in and go deep, but that would sink one of those things. I think I was able to bring in a stronger male perspective while still keeping it buoyant. The thing is, you know the guy and the girl are going to get together at the end and you want to be entertained in seeing how. That's the trick of them, not anchoring them down so you don't sink them.
How old were you when you had your first kiss?
I'm not telling! No kissing and telling.
I'm not asking who!
If I said so she would read it and know.
Well, who's going to be the last girl you kiss?
I would hope that's the one I just left at home.
I was hoping you'd say that. What's the secret to your steak?
It's the dry rub that's my recipe. Sear it first and then slow cook after that. Cooking is one of the main things we do. One and a half hours to two hours a day. We eat out like once every two months because we cook. It's really great family time from 6 to 8. Glass of wine and we start mixing up sauces and trying new things. See what we can pull off and we swap, sometimes I'm the cook, sometimes Camila is the cook.
You know what I smell?
No, a cookbook.
Yeah, we've got a whole bunch of things to fill up a cookbook right now.
I know a hungry interviewer who'd love to come over for dinner.
Well maybe we'll have you over for a good steak.
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