Matthew McConaughey doesn’t look back on his rom-com days with any regret.
Appearing on Apple Music’s “Beyond the Influence Radio with Tim McGraw”, the actor reflects on the string of romantic comedies he starred in during the 2000s.
“I’m successful at rom-coms. The go-to guy at rom-coms,” he says. “I’m living in a pad in Malibu, surfing on the beach shirtless. I’m shirtless rom-com McConaughey and I’m like, ‘You’re damn right I am. Those rom-coms are paying for these houses that I’m renting on the beach, baby. Guilty. Come on.'”
At the time, McConaughey made a name for himself as a romantic leading man in comedies like “The Wedding Planner”, “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”, “Failure to Launch” and more.
“I started to feel like every rom-com script I did, I go, ‘Oh, that’s a good one. I think I can do that tomorrow morning.’ And then I was like: ‘Well, I’m glad you feel like you could do that tomorrow morning,’ but I was like: ‘I want to be scared. I want to look at something and go, ‘Whoa! I don’t know what I’m going to do with that,'” he recalls. “I want to dive in a pool and trust I’ll come up to the other side than take the journey and come up bloody.”
The 51-year-old says he then started turning down projects, with an intent to be cast in other kinds of films.
One film in particular was difficult to turn down given the payday involved.
“They started at an $8 million offer. I said no,” he recalls, without naming the film. “They started $10 million. I say no. They go to $12.5, I said, ‘No, thank you.’ They go to $14.5, I said, ‘Let me read that script again'” he laughed. “Let me tell you, at $14.5 million, it was the same words as the $8 million offer, but it was a more well-written script, sir… But I said no.”
Even with studio executives now realizing the actor wasn’t bluffing, it still took over a year for more offers to come in.
Finally, in 2011, McConaughey landed the lead role in “The Lincoln Lawyer”. That led to a series of challenging roles, culminating in both “True Detective”, and his Oscar-winning performance in “Dallas Buyers Club”.
McGraw also comments on the two of them having the shared experience of considering studying law, before telling their parents they wanted a future in entertainment instead.
“If we stayed on that path and became lawyers, we probably would have done alright and been decent lawyers,” McConaughey says. “And our parents would have been happy. But what makes a parent really happy? When their child comes to them and they don’t come a bluffing. They don’t come really asking for permission. They say, ‘I’m going to go my own path.’ As a parent, you’re like, ‘Yes! That’s what I was hoping you would one day do.'”