Matthew McConaughey Interview for Magic Mike
The Role He Was Born to Play
July 2, 2012
Interview by: Dan Deevy
DanDeevy@thecinemasource.com

Written by: Rocco Passafuime
RoccoPassafuime@thecinemasource.com


Matthew McConaughey has spent the past decade starring in romantic comedies like The Wedding Planner, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, Failure To Launch, and Fool’s Gold. Now the 42 year-old parlays his appeal to the ladies in his latest romp as strip club owner Dallas in the drama Magic Mike.

McConaughey was asked if his new wife, Brazillian model and designer Camila Alves, supported his decision to play a stripper.

“My wife now, girlfriend at the time, actually showed up, snuck in quite a few days, gave me the thumb up, and said, ‘Go for it, baby,’” Matthew enthuses, “So she’s going to like it.”

Matthew recalled his first dance routine.

“I was very nervous,” McConaughey remembers, “Before going out on the stage, to dance even if you’re not taking your clothes off, for everyone live is kind of nerve-wracking, but then knowing you have to strip down, very nerve-wracking. Then after doing it once, God, I wanted to get up there and do it again. That was a lot of fun. When I first talked to [director] Steven [Soderbergh], he called to offer the role of Dallas to me.”

“He had pitched the story and told me who this guy was and I was laughing really hard on the phone and said yes,” he adds, “And I said, ‘Can you give me one line just so I can hang up the phone and walk away here and my imagination can go somewhere?’ He said, ‘Well, this guy Dallas is pretty connected with UFO’s, man.’ So, that was a great launch pad. It was a pretty roofless bit of direction on the phone in the beginning and so I knew that I was going to be able to fly and that was really fun to play someone so committed in many ways.”

It was asked whether people would find Dallas’s obsession with UFO’s off-putting and delusional.

“Absolutely not delusional,” he believes, “Dallas is working really hard to be the messiah of the male universe. As he says, the moon is merely a chip shot away, baby. We’re going lunar.”

“He doesn’t just want to take over the male revue on the planet Earth, he wants to control the solar system,” Matthew continues, “We start with 40,000 square feet of prime real estate in South Beach, then we move to Dubai and Guinea because we’re going to simulcast, big thinker, that Dallas. So, no, not delusional, at least, not in his mind whatsoever.”

Matthew was also asked about whether he felt doing this along with films like last year’s The Lincoln Lawyer have capped off a renaissance period for his career.

“Well, I made five in a row last year,” McConaughey says, “I went back to back to back to back to back, and it was my most creative, constructive and fun working year I’ve ever had. I did not have one single day in all five films where I was not excited to get out of bed in the morning and go to work. I didn’t have one hour of complacency in any of the work I did in five films, and I’m happy to be able to say that because that’s not always been the case and it’s fortunate to be able to say that.”

“And I got to work with a lot of very interesting directors and some very interesting stories and all characters that didn’t really pander or placate to any laws, government, parental guidance, what have you,” he continues, “So, they were very, when I say committed characters, that’s really fun because it’s boundless how far you can go, almost four dimensionally. I mean, with Dallas, in this role, I couldn’t get to pin down with writing down ideas and things and sending off emails. The verbiage of this guy’s mind just kind of flew.”

McConaughey talks about the ladies that participated as club patron extras during filming.

“They were crazy during the dances,” Matthew says of them, “And then afterwards, they’d become very motherly, like wanting to take care of us. ‘That was a good one. You done good today,’ especially after a few weeks.”

Matthew talks about what it felt like to play a character who wears a thong that left little to the imagination.

“As far as trusting wardrobe, it is one of the larger leaps of faith to trust a thong,” he says, “It weighs like what a dollar bill weighs. It weighs nothing, and you’re going, ‘This is the only protection…at the end of this performance, this is the only protection that I have.’ So, the first time you put it on you’re going, ‘What is every possible angle I can be in and I got to check to see if it’s really covered, everything is covered.’ You don’t understand how it is and for the most part it is.”

“I had to put on the thong and kind of walk around and try to have normal conversations,” McConaughey adds, “You have to talk about football or what you ate last night, something. Then that’s what’s funny, and then you lean against a wall, like, ‘Now I’m just hanging out, man,’ to get comfortable with it because the first time you put it on, your body kind of contorts and you’re like, ‘I need straighten up, my shoulders back or something, hips out.’ It is somewhat unnatural. Channing [Tatum] would be there just talking about what’s going on in the scene with Soderbergh. He’s in his red thong, just working it out, behind the scenes producer work. There’s nothing weird about Kevin Nash in a thong, talking to you about Picasso’s cubism years.”

McConaughey says he enjoyed playing Dallas so much that he had a little difficulty letting go of the experience when shooting of Magic Mike wrapped.

“I think this experience opened all of us in some way,” Matthew says, “I remember this one experience I had after we wrapped at my sister’s wedding, and I had a few drinks and all of a sudden, I was doing body rolls on the dance floor. And I realized, Matt, it’s time to let go. You can’t take this with you. It’s already been captured on film.”

Matthew was asked if there was any competition with his fellow co-stars on set dancing.

“Let me say this on the competition side,” McConaughey says, “We all got to see Channing dance for the first time so it was obvious. We were like, ‘Okay, the best I can do is get second place.’”

McConaughey was asked if it was true that women had torn his thong off during shooting and he ended up falling into a pit of them.

“No, I snuck out of there,” Matthew replies, “I think I stayed on beat.”

Matthew was also asked if he loved the outfits he got to wear for the film.

“I loved all mine,” McConuaghey says, “As soon as we found the leather pants on the first day with Chris, the costume designer, I realized that was Dallas’s staple.”

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