Matthew McConaughey has been sharing some insightful information these past few months on his Youtube channel. The Oscar-winning actor also serves as a film professor at his alma mater, the University of Texas. McConaughey has been imparting some gainful tips to up-and-coming filmmakers. But recently, the True Detective star got candid about his early days as an actor and shared an engaging story on his Youtube channel, where he has over 600k subscribers. McConaughey reminisced about how he got roles that he didn’t originally audition for. One of those roles was in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation. The film was screened at South by Southwest in 1994, but its theatrical release happened only in 1997. By then both, Matthew McConaughey and co-star Renee Zellweger had become major Hollywood stars – owing to Dazed and Confused and Jerry Maguire respectively. But things could have been different had the film been released earlier.
McConaughey gets straight to the point divulging how he ended up playing characters that he didn’t initially set out to play.
“I had already done Dazed and Confused the summer before, in Austin, Texas. Now I went back to school, graduated, and had my U-Haul packed up. Just as I was about to drive out to Hollywood trying to get a job, I got offered this role in this horror picture, Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It was a one-day role. A guy who rides up on a motorcycle at the beginning of the movie, sees Ren&ée Zellweger’s character on school campus, she sees him, he rides off. She goes through her night of hell, and almost gets killed, and the next day at school he rides back up, she sees him, jumps on the motorcycle, they ride off. No lines. Just this sort of Romeo to Juliet character. Sure, I’ll do that.”
But when Matthew McConaughey reached the production office, he was asked by the director Kim Henkel to suggest any local actor to play the villain Vilmer. McConaughey gave him the names of local actors who he thought would fit the role, took his two-page script, and left the office. But just as he got out, it occurred to him, why don’t I play Vilmer? McConaughey decided to give it a try there and then, and the rest is history. McConaughey was so good that he made a woman cry out of fear. Here is what happened, as narrated by the Texas native himself.
&”As I got to the curb to get in my truck, which already had my U-Haul packed up to come to California, I said, ‘I should try for that role.’ So I went back down the sidewalk, went in, He [Henkel] said ‘You forget anything?’ I said, ‘No! I didn’t forget anything but I want to try out for the role of Vilmer’. The girl that was the secretary goes, ‘I’ll do it!’. And right then, I ran to the kitchen, grabbed a big table spoon out of the drawer, came back in, and just pinned her in a corner and acted like it was a weapon. And did it until she cried. And they yelled ‘Cut,’ and Kim was like, ‘That was good.’ And the girl was like, ‘Yeah, that was really good. You really scared me.’ And Kim goes, ‘Do you want the part?’ and I go ‘Yeah, I’ll take the part’.”
McConaughey then stayed in Texas for another month before leaving for Hollywood. While his breakout role came in Richard Linklater’s coming-of-age drama Dazed and Confused, McConaughey also starred in the lead in A Time to Kill. Perhaps if Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation came out earlier, McConaughey may have played more villainous roles. Who knows? All though, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation received mixed reviews, McConaughey and Zellweger’s performances were unanimously praised.
McConaughey seems to have taken a break from Hollywood amid the pandemic; He last appeared in 2019’s The Gentlemen, directed by Guy Ritchie. McConaughey is even planning to run for governor of Texas in 2022. Hopefully, he finds time from his other ventures and be back to make more movies as well.