INTERVIEW: Just a boy from Texas. An interview with Matthew McConaughey

In his new romantic comedy, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Matthew McConaughey plays a slick, urbane super-hunk entangled in a haven’t-we-seen-these-antics-in-another-(bad) movie-before relationship with co-star Kate Hudson. But don’t mistake McConaughey’s character for his true self: McConaughey is more Texas cowboy than city sophisticate, and more bent on “just livin'” than laboring over his career.

McConaughey got his start in the early 1990s playing small roles in Dazed and Confused, Boys on the Side and Angels in the Outfield. His big break came in 1996 when he snagged the lead role away from big names like Pitt and Kilmer in A Time to Kill. No sooner did the movie become a success than McConaughey became Hollywood’s golden boy, landing a string of starring roles in Contact, Amistad, Edtv and The Wedding Planner.

These days, McConaughey is in full PR mode, eager to sing the praises of 10 Days and relate his many life experiences to legions of adoring fans and/or journalists.

“The funniest thing about this movie is not the jokes,” the 33-year-old actor told The Hatchet in a recent interview, perhaps establishing a preemptive defense against criticisms that his new film is unabashedly formulaic. “It’s got a great setup.”

Kate Hudson’s character must find a guy with whom she will make all the classic dating mistakes and thus drive away. That guy is McConaughey, whose character also has an ulterior motive – if he can win a bet and get Hudson’s character to fall in love with him, he’ll land a huge account at his office.

“The premise is just so simple. I was thinking, ‘why hasn’t this been done before?'” McConaughey said

I guess he forgot about She’s All That and Two Can Play That Game.

“The chemistry on screen is one of the undeniable things about this flick. It’s a chick flick but it appeals to dudes,” McConaughey said

Really? Certainly some might think that the film’s characters are unsympathetic and that the plot is thinner than this newsprint.

“The movie’s a romantic comedy. You go with it,” the actor said in regards to this type of criticism. “Without making some sort of calculus, (the audience) has to go, ‘yeah, okay, I can see how they can go together.'”

So maybe 10 Days isn’t a resume builder or a great movie. It’s just something to take your date to, curl up and smooch in the dark. It’s light, it’s silly and in the end there’s no harm done, at least that’s how McConaughey seems to see it.

When McConaughey is able to tear himself away from the bright lights of Hollywood, he enjoys the same things most do – relaxing at home in Texas and international adventures.

“I like taking trips to countries where they don’t speak English – like Third World countries or places where they don’t have electricity,” he said McConaughey’s next film, Tiptoes, will be opening later this year, and he’s currently working on writing a children’s movie. But don’t typecast this romantic comedy lover-boy yet.

As McConaughey explains, “I feel (the role) of a hippie coming on.”

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