Matthew McConaughey altered the direction of his career by “un-branding” himself from his association with romantic comedies.
The actor starred in a number of light-hearted movies in the 2000s, such as The Wedding Planner, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Failure to Launch, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, and Fool’s Gold.
But during an appearance at the HISTORYTalks event held at Carnegie Hall in New York on Saturday, McConaughey admitted it was the birth of his son Levi in 2008 that made him reevaluate his career.
“I took off and had an un-branding phase. Not a rebranding phrase, an un-branding phase. I said, ‘I’m out,'” he recalled, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “And at that time I got an offer for a romantic comedy, and it was for a very sizable number, and I read it and they came back and bumped that number up quite a bit, and I passed, and they came back and bumped it again, I passed. They bumped it up and basically doubled the opening offer, and I said, ‘Let me read this script again.’ It was the same words, but I promise you that script was superior to the first one. I said no, and I had 18 months of being gone.”
“That anonymity, that being away, that not being the shirtless guy on the beach in a romcom, by un-branding, then all of a sudden, things came to me that I had been wanting to do… Dramatic roles that I had been pursuing were coming my way.”
McConaughey won an Oscar for his portrayal of AIDS sufferer Ron Woodroof in 2013 biographical drama Dallas Buyers Club, while his other serious films have included The Wolf of Wall Street, Interstellar, and White Boy Rick.
The 50-year-old most recently played American expatriate and marijuana empire boss Mickey Pearson in Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen, which debuted in theatres earlier this year.
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