Matthew McConaughey says turning down lucrative romcom role sparked career boost

McConaughey won an Oscar for playing a cowboy with Aids in Dallas Buyers Club.

Matthew McConaughey said turning down a lucrative offer to star in another romantic comedy led to his career renaissance.

The Hollywood actor was synonymous with the genre and starred in films including The Wedding Planner, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days and Failure To Launch.

However, in the early 2010s his career took a different path and he became known for dramatic roles.

Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey won an Oscar for 2013 drama Dallas Buyers Club (Isabel Infantes/PA)

McConaughey was rewarded for the change in direction with an Oscar for playing a cowboy with Aids in 2014 drama Dallas Buyers Club.

McConaughey, 51, said resisting an offer of 14.5 million dollars (£10.3 million) for a romantic comedy eventually led to more varied roles.

Speaking to country music star Tim McGraw on his Beyond The Influence Radio show on Apple Music, he said: “They started at an eight million dollar offer. I said no. They started 10 million dollars. 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 mill, it was the same words as the eight million dollar offer, but it was a more well-written script, sir. It was funnier, it had more possibilities.

“But I said no.”

McConaughey, who did not reveal what the project was, said the phone stopped ringing for more than a year before his career picked back up.

He added: “Now when I said no to that, I do believe that sort of an invisible lightning bolt went across Hollywood and they go, ‘Oh, McConaughey is not bluffing. He ain’t kidding’.

“So then everything stopped. Nothing came in. For another 14, 15 months, nothing came in.”

McConaughey said when he became “spiritually sound” with the possibility of not returning to Hollywood, the offers came rolling back in.

He said: “Ring, guess who’s a new good idea for Lincoln Lawyer, for Killer Joe, for Magic Mike, for Mud, for True Detective, for Dallas Buyer’s Club? I was.

“Because I found anonymity in those two years — I unbranded — and no-one knew where I was. By not being around they were like, ‘You know who’s a bright new idea? McConaughey for this.’ Then when they came, I jumped on it.”

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