Matthew McConaughey explains why he turned down a $14.5 million movie offer

Matthew McConaughey explains why he turned down a whopping $14.5 million movie deal to pivot his career away from romantic comedies.

Matthew McConaughey says he turned down a $14.5 million movie offer in order to pivot his acting career outside of the romantic comedy genre. McConaughey is one of the biggest names in Hollywood today, known for starring in films like Interstellar and Dallas Buyers Club. He made his acting debut in the early 90s, with his breakout role as Wooderson in the 1993 comedy Dazed and confused.

Prior to the 2010s, the majority of McConaughey’s roles were the male romantic interest in romantic comedy films. The list includes movies like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, The Wedding Planner, Launch Fail, and Ghosts of past girlfriends. He co-starred alongside many famous faces, including Jennifer Lopez and Kate Hudson. However, after 2010 his career shifted to include films in a variety of genres, comedy-dramas like magic mike to thrillers like Mud.


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In an interview with Gary Vaynerchuk (via @garyvee on TikTok), McConaughey explained that he had to take a career break to make the switch. The decision came after he googled himself and realized he was widely known as a simple “romantic comedy shirtless guy.” The actor said he wasn’t ashamed of it, since it paid his bills, but it kept him from being hired for film projects in other genres. McConaughey decided to return home to Texas and tell his agents “I don’t do that anymore” after which he went 20 months out of work. A few months into his hiatus, he was offered a role for $8 million, which he turned down. Although the studio later increased the offer to $14.5 million, McConaughey remained steadfast and did not accept the role.

“I shed tears to make the decision. I even thought about having to change careers. Now watch the times, that’s when Hollywood really got the message.”

Matthew McConaughey in Magic Mike

While McConaughey joked that the script seemed “much better written” after the impressive $14.5 million offer, that ultimately wasn’t enough to dissuade the actor from his decision. In fact, the actor explained that the movie itself never moved forward without McConaughey and didn’t get made. However, his decision paid off. In the years to come, McConaughey made it big after making such a rash career choice, playing lead roles in some major drama films, and even winning the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club in 2014. That same year, he also received two Emmy Award nominations for his role in HBO’s hit crime series, real detective.

Given his now-super stardom, it’s odd to think that an actor who’s become as successful as McConaughey had to put his career on the line in order to pursue projects that were outside of his traditional wheelhouse. Of course, in the end, that risk was a positive move for McConaughey. The drastic decision ultimately won him an Oscar and cemented McConaughey‘s as one of Hollywood’s most talented actors, who has more than proven his wide range.

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Source: Gary Vaynerchuk/TIC Tac

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