Matthew McConaughey Stopped Acting for Two Years and Thought About Becoming a Teacher or Wildlife Guide Due to Rom-Com Fame: ‘It Was Scary’

Matthew McConaughey recently told Glen Powell in an Interview magazine discussion that “it was scary” quitting Hollywood for two years when romantic comedies were all that was being offered to him early in his career. McConaughey was a king of the genre thanks to films like “The Wedding Planner,” “How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days,” “Failure To Launch,” “Fool’s Gold,” and “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past,” nearly all of which grossed over $100 million at the worldwide box office. But the more rom-coms McConaughey made the less Hollywood wanted him starring in anything else.

“I’ve usually zigged when I felt like Hollywood wanted me to zag,” McConaughey said. “When I had my rom-com years, there was only so much bandwidth I could give to those and those were some solid hits for me. But I wanted to try some other stuff. Of course I wasn’t getting it, so I had to leave Hollywood for two years.”

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“Dude, it was scary. I had long talks with my wife about needing to find a new vocation,” he continued, remembering saying at the time: “I think I’m going to teach high school classes. I think I’m going to study to be a conductor. I think I’m going to go be a wildlife guide.”

“I honestly thought, ‘I stepped out of Hollywood. I got out of my lane,'” McConaughey added. “The lane Hollywood said I should stay in, and Hollywood’s like, “Well, fuck you, dude. You should have stayed in your lane. … It was scary. The days are long — the sense of insignificance. But I made up my mind that that’s what I needed to do, so I wasn’t going to pull the parachute and quit the mission I was on. But it was scary, because I didn’t know if I was ever going to get out of the desert.”

McConaughey moved into more dramatic roles with movies such as “Mud,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Magic Mike” and “Interstellar.” He won the Oscar for best actor for his performance in “Dallas Buyers Club.” He revealed in his 2020 memoir that at some point during his pivot into dramatic films he was offered $14.5 million to return to the rom-com genre in a new movie.

“I declined the offer,” McConaughey wrote in his book. “If I couldn’t do what I wanted, I wasn’t going to do what I didn’t, no matter the price.”

Head over to Interview magazine’s website to read his full conversation with Glen Powell.

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