"It was scary," he admitted, of his decision to quit rom-coms. But his wife supported him, which helped him in the long run.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on August 4, 2021. It has since been updated.
Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey was known as the guy who always did romantic comedies, but that was something he wanted to change. Referring to himself as "the go-to rom-com guy," McConaughey found himself not wanting to be associated with the genre, despite his success in movies like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Failure To Launch.
In an interview with AARP The Magazine, the 51-year-old actor spoke about how he then decided to quit being a part of romantic comedies. "If you go deep in a rom-com, you can sink the ship," the actor explained. "In my life, though, I was going very deep. I found the love of my life in Camila. We had a newborn coming. I had more things to get angry about, laugh about, have more joy about, and be sad about."
He continued, "I wanted to do work that reflected my personal vitality. But no matter how much of a pay cut I would take, dramas were not being offered to me. So I quit."
He told his family about his decision and received a bunch of mixed responses as a reaction, but it was his wife who helped him stick to his choices. "It was scary," he admitted. "But Camila said, 'If we're going to do this, we're not going to half-ass it.'"
Now that he knew he had his wife's support, he was determined to rebrand himself. McConaughey said no to "every rom-com script that came my way," and even turned down a script for $14.5 million. With that, the number of offers that came his way also went down.
"No offers came in for almost a year and a half. I was now shaking hands with the fact that I may never work in Hollywood again," he said. "It pinched me a little, but I was OK with it. It was time for a new chapter in my life."
But, you know what they say, there's always light at the end of the tunnel. He was rewarded for his patience and went on to land stellar roles in critically acclaimed dramas like Lincoln Lawyer, Killer Joe, Mud, and HBO's True Detective.
He then went on to win the Academy Award for Best Actor in 2014 for his performance in the Dallas Buyers Club. "I unbranded those two years to then rebrand," McConaughey said. "The dramas came my way and I jumped on them."
"And now I'm pivoting again. In my next chapter, I'll step into some sort of leadership position, but I don't know what that is yet. Politics? Another book? A ministry? The crux of it is to help others. We're coming out of a time of limbo and evolving, as people and as a nation," McConaughey said.
"We've got to come together and have some sort of unity — I think everyone can agree we can use that," he concluded.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Tim Warner