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Matthew McConaughey turned down £10.5m offer for ‘shirtless romcom’ role

Actor admitted that he was once the ‘go-to guy’ for romantic comedies, many of which called for endless topless scenes

Adam White
Thursday 17 June 2021 08:16 BST
Matthew McConaughey wins Oscar

Matthew McConaughey once turned down a $14.5m (£10.4m) offer to star in a romantic comedy, he has revealed.

The Oscar-winning actor was at one point famous for starring in a run of hit romcoms, including How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Failure to Launch and The Wedding Planner, before he decided to change course.

McConaughey’s embrace of low-budget independent film in the early 2010’s resulted in career-best reviews for films such as Magic Mike, Killer Joe and Dallas Buyers Club – the latter of which won him an Oscar.

Speaking to country star Tim McGraw on his Beyond the Influence Radio podcast on Apple Music Country, McConaughey recalled the turning point that led him to abandon romcoms.

“I’m the go-to guy at romcoms,” McConaughey remembered. “I’m living in a pad in Malibu surfing on the beach shirtless. I’m shirtless romcom McConaughey and I’m like, ‘You damn right I am, those romcoms are paying for these houses that I’m renting on the beach, baby. Guilty. Come on.’ I’m fully happy with that.”

He then recalled wanting to “be scared” by a project rather than settling for further romantic comedies, even when a major studio offered him millions of dollars to star in one.

“They started at an $8m offer,” he said. “I said no. They [went to] $10m. I say no. They go to $12.5, I said, ‘No, thank you.’ They go to $14.5, I said, ‘Let me read that script again.’

“Let me tell you, at $14.5 million, it was the same words as the $8 million offer, but it was a more well-written script, sir. It was a funny script. It had more. But I said no. Now when I said no to that, I do believe that an invisible lightning bolt went across Hollywood and they go, ‘Oh, McConaughey is not bluffing. He ain’t kidding.’”

Matthew McConaughey in his 2008 romcom ‘Fool’s Gold'

Earlier this month, McConaughey condemned political division in the USA, explaining that mask use during the pandemic was one example of a situation becoming unnecessarily politicised.

In March, the actor also hinted at a future in politics, declaring that he is “giving consideration” to it.

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