Matthew McConaughey once decided not to read the script and just play the character, it didn’t end well

He learned an important lesson about preparation

Matthew McConaughey and Jeff Bridges sat down for Variety’s Actors on Actors series this week, getting on famously and confessing their surprise that they hadn’t met before.

“I do feel that there is a fraternity with actors, but you, in particular and specifically, I felt like, “I know that guy, I met him,” McConaughey told the Hell or High Water star.

After spending a while showing their mutual appreciation, the pair got to talking about the idea of making acting look easy.

“That effortlessness often takes a lot of effort, you know?” Bridges said, after recounting a trying time on Iron Man when he and Robert Downey Jr. would have to learn their lines at the last minute due to script rewrites.

McConaughey followed up with a doozy of a story from his 1995 film Scorpion Spring.

“I had this idea that I need to go back like I did in my first film, where I just knew my man, and I would show up and just play the circumstances - improvise,” he explained.

“So I said, “I’m not going to read the script. Just tell me the character, tell me the situation, and I’ll show up, and I’ll just react and do what I would do.

“So I show up on set, we’re about to do the scene, and I said, “You know what? Since I know my man, let me just have a peek at these sides real quick.” I pick it up: four-page monologue … in Spanish.”

“Oh god,” Bridges sympathised.

“And I said, “Can you give me 12 minutes?” For whatever reason I thought that’s enough time to learn four pages of dialogue in Spanish and not piss off the crew,” McConaughey continued.

“It was not enough time to learn it in Spanish. I remember that day going, “Whoa, McConaughey, no — to relax, you don’t not prepare; to relax, you go learn it, so you can get there and throw it away.”

The full interview, in which McConaughey hopefully continues to talk about himself in the third person, airs on PBS SoCal on 3 January.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in