The actor’s McConaissance, his rebirth as a grizzled character actor, has won him widespread acclaim. He talks about career wobbles, his work with young offenders – and why he’s never truly satisfied with his work
At this point, the sight of Matthew McConaughey scuffed up and scuzzy, without a tan but with a shirt, is no longer a shock. It has been seven years since the McConaissance that saw the actor stop (or, at least, curb) toplessness to be conciously reborn as a grizzled character actor.
But what remains surprising is just how low – or rather high – he is now willing to go. Previous roles of the McConaissance (“I don’t mind the word,” he grins. “It’s got a good metre”) have seen him embrace fried-chicken greased vileness (trailer-trash thriller Killer Joe), pot-bellied greed (mining saga Gold) and life as an emaciated rodeo redneck (Aids drama Dallas Buyers Club). But they have still always been heroes on some level, even if there are a lot of caveats. Underneath it all, they are winners.