The only thing we love more than movies here at CablaGoobla is speculating wildly about conspiracy theories. Lucky for us these two things often go hand in hand.
The other night as I was about to watch the premiere of True Detective Season Two, I was thinking about the distinct lack of Matthew McConaughey, and then about how drastically old Matt turned his career around. This drastic change in roles has been referred to by critics worldwide as “The McConaissance” and has both confused and delighted film and television fans across the globe.
But where did this change come from? I now invite you on a journey through time as we put a (equally plausabile, and by that I mean ludacris) McConspiracy theory on the table for consideration.
Let’s start at his birth shall we? I mean we’re committed to this so we are going all the way here. Matthew was born in 1969 in Texas, the same year that the United States put a man on the moon, convenient… I don’t think so. His childhood was pretty simple, in high school he spent one year living in Australia before going off to college to study a Bachelor of Radio Television and Film back in Texas.
In 1993 he played David Wooderson in the Richard Linklater CLASSIC “Dazed and Confused.” This is one of those movies that is very much loved by film fanatics, so he got off to a really good start! Throughout the 90s he also appeared in “Angels in the Outfield” (classic), “The Texas Chainsaw Massace: The Next Generation” (well everybody has an awful horror movie in their past, it’s a right of passage) and “Boys on the Side” (starring Drew Barrymore, Whoopie Goldberg & Mary-Louise Parker) which despite the strong nineties cast is pretty bad.
His big break came in 1998 with “A Time to Kill” based on the John Grisham novel. Matthew playe young lawyer Jake Tyler Brigance in the gritty tale of a black man on trial for murdering two men who raped his daughter, sparking a resurgence of KKK activity. So, it is clear here that McConaughey started out pretty damn strong! He was in a few shockers but this John Grisham movie appeared out of nowhere like “BAM LET’S GET REAL MATTHEW.” Things were on the up and up for his career, but as the nineties wore on, the evil monster that is RomCom typecasting starting to awake.
Then came a string of other really great roles in “Contact,” “Amistad” and “U-571” and it was all coming up Matthew McConaughey, he was lulled into a false sense of security by everyone around him. When all of a sudden, the producer of HBO’s “Sex and the City” (who I assume was sitting in a high backed leather chair and stroking a very fluffy cat while sporting an eye patch and smoking a cigar) shouted at his pleb minions “Bring me this McConaughey boy, we’ll make a typecast romatic interest out of him and make BILLIONS.”
Enter the bleakest phase of his career.
“Sex and the City” – Plays himself aka a hottie young actor
“The Wedding Planner” – Enough said
“Freedom a History of Us” (Documentary) hang on.. this actually seems good and he played a lot of interesting historical characters…. maybe
“How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days” – ah fuck, sorry buddy.
“Sahara” – I mean you had good intentions with this, but it turned out terribly
“Failure to Launch” – Do not be fooled, this is not an awesome space movie, it’s a terrible terrible RomCom
“Two For the Money” – Football movie… maybe things are taking a turn…
“We Are Marshall” – Another Football movie? So soon? This can’t be good..
“Fool’s Gold” – This movie is probably the crowning jewel of BLEAK
“Tropic Thunder” – sigh
“Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” – THIS was his wake up call.
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past was truly the most awful movie, one of those films that when you are watching you can see your soul leaving your body and attempting to crawl into the other room so it doesn’t have to witness the nightmare. And obviously the one that got Matthew thinking about his life, I mean, he was quoted around this time saying “I got to feeling like, for a few years, I was doing something that I liked to do with romantic and action comedies. But believe me, I noticed there were other things that were not coming in.” We noticed it too buddy, we noticed it too.
After that atomic explosion of shit Matthew started taking a few roles that went against his shirtless, bozo, ladykiller typecast.
This is where the wild speculation gets rolling.
“The Lincoln Lawyer” came out in 2011 and once again Matthew was playing the role of a lawyer in a gritty drama film. Little piece of info I left out earlier, before studying film this guy was going to become a lawyer. Just before starting college he thought, nah this isn’t for me, I don’t want to lead that lawyer life.
Perhaps being cast as a lawyer again in an actually good movie made him feel a sea of regret and relief? The very thing he chose not to study in order to persue acting had potentially saved his career. And so begins our spiritual journey of irony.
Sometime between 2011 and and his Oscar Winning performance in “Dallas Buyers Club” in 2013, something happened to McConaughey, something that remains unexplained but crucial in our understanding of his career.
I have come up with a theory that has zero substantiated evidence, but that never stopped Fox Mulder, and I have no Scully to keep me in check so I am going to go for it.
After his appearance in “Magic Mike” Matthew decided to take a little time out for himself (probably to recover from the shame) maybe, just maybe, he wandered out into the desert. While strolling through the majestic beauty of the outlands, he sat down in the sand, and wept for seven days and seven nights. “Oh Matthew, what have you done” he cried, face in hands while looking up at the burning sun and glistening moon above him.
On the eighth day he was delirious, hallucinating about a future filled with academy awards, revered directors and characters who actually have substance. A mirage appears before his eyes, he walks towards it, stumbling on the cracked soles of his feet. Inside the mirage are the ghosts of films past. Standing before him in all their awful RomCom glory, hands outstretched, calling to him; “Cooome to usssssss, you will never wear a shirt on screen again.. come to us an embrace the suuuuuuuuuck.”
But then another mirage appeared, himself ten years in the future, and he grabbed his younger self and repeatedly punched him in the face until young Matthew fell unconcious on the ground. When he awoke he had lost 38 pounds and looked and felt like a new man, he followed the footprints in the sand his future self had left and emerged from his quest. This spiritual journey inspired him to take the role of Ron Woodruff in “Dallas Buyers Club” for which he won Best Actor at the Academy Awards and for which he mentioned (in part) the only evidence I have to corroborate my theory (see video).
Also around this time he really started to go on a lot of weird spritual nonsense rants, which can only be explained by what he saw alone out in that desert. It’s the only logical conclusion.
Next came “Wolf of Wall Street” and then his KO punch; “True Detective.” When I watched True Detective I was so ready to watch McConaughey fail, but every scene he was in was a symbolic “YOU DON’T KNOW ME” slap in the face. He had emerged from the fiery pits of RomCom hell as a soulful, gritty drama actor.
“Interstellar” came along, damn that movie is good, and he is fantastic in it! Combining his love of well written scripts, black holes and sand must have really been a dream come true for McConaughey. Shooting through space just like those men in his birth year, if anything it as his destiny, at the very least a spiritual calling that could only be explained by a dreadlocked shaman, but it has something to do with witnessing time travel himself.
We had all doubted Matthew, for almost a decade we saw him prancing around without a shirt, playing the same worn out, idiotic, awful characters and when we were told he was going to be in a HBO drama we scoffed. But through it all, future Matthew was watching, pushing his younger self to go for it an make a good name, bring great pride upon the name of Matthew McConaughey.