• Friday, November 28, 2014

HOLLYWOOD HIVE

STAR IN FOCUS MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY

This is definitely a great time for Matthew McConaughey – and not just because he won the Academy Award for Best Actor and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Drama for his role of a cowboy diagnosed with AIDS in the biographical film 'Dallas Buyers Club', but also because he everything he is a part of now seems to be made of gold. Making a place for himself in the romantic comedy genre of Hollywood films in the 2000s, the actor slowly segued into action movies, getting fit and gaining a lot of muscle in the process – all of which he had to lose for his role of an AIDs victim Ron Woodroof (he lost over 45 pounds in 4 months). And what could be possibly get him more attention that this? Playing the lead in the next Christopher Nolan franchise – Interstellar, that's what! His role in the acclaimed 2014 HBO crime anthology series True Detective (currently on air) has also received much praise.
Born in Uvalde, Texas, McConaughey, who was raised middle-class along with his two older brothers in Longview, didn't grow up expecting to be an actor. His mother was a schoolteacher and his father owned an oil pipe supply business. Matthew had planned on becoming a lawyer — a profession he would end up playing out onscreen in the films “A Time to Kill,” “Amistad” and “The Lincoln Lawyer.”
In his sophomore year of college, mere days before he had to pick a major, he discovered Og Mandino's philosophical tome “The Greatest Salesman in the World.” After devouring the book, a 10-step reaffirmation program, he realized he wanted to spend his life telling stories. He called his father to tell him he wanted to go to film school. After a long pause, his dad simply said, “Well, don't half-ass it.”

McConaughey enrolled at the U. of Texas at Austin, thinking he'd become a filmmaker. But he kept getting acting jobs; when he met “Dazed and Confused” casting director Don Phillips, he asked about working as a production assistant on the pic. He ended up being cast in the tiny but iconic role of David Wooderson. He became an “overnight” star when director Joel Schumacher hired him for the lead role in “A Time to Kill.” The little-known actor found himself heading a cast that included Sandra Bullock and Kevin Spacey. He got through the media maelstrom by concentrating on the work, but admits he wasn't prepared for the onslaught of attention. “My life was turned upside down,” he says. “I went from being told 'no' 100 times a day to being told I could have anything I wanted.”
Knowing that fame could be fleeting, he took supporting roles with great directors, including Steven Spielberg (“Amistad”) and Robert Zemeckis (“Contact”). McConaughey is continuing to work on challenging roles with the best directors in the business. He's just signed on to play a suicidal man who discovers a different path in director Gus Van Sant's “Sea of Trees.”  And he will be seen this November in Christopher Nolan's top-secret sci-fi epic “Interstellar.” While he can't divulge anything about the plot, McConaughey does say: “Here's what I can tell you,” before slipping into the third person. “It's the most ambitious thing he's ever done. And he's done some ambitious stuff.”
Being cast in Christopher Nolan's Interstellar
McConaughey had run into Nolan over the years, but it was at an event about two years ago he says the director first praised his work. “He came up to me and said, '“Mud.” I love that movie,' ” McConaughey recalls. He was later asked to fly to Los Angeles to meet with Nolan. “I sat down with him for about 2½ hours at his house,” he recalls. “Not one word came up about “Interstellar.” I walked out not sure what to think. I mean, he's not a guy who takes general meetings.” Clearly Nolan liked what he saw; McConaughey was offered the role.
Nolan may be tight-lipped about the film's plot, but he has nothing but praise for the pic's star. “Matthew works from the inside out,” he says. “He approaches a character from a deep human understanding, refusing to take shortcuts to an emotional connection with the audience — all while never losing sight of the demands of the overall narrative.”
“Interstellar” might break McConaughey's streak of independent films, but he does point out that Nolan, who began his career with small pics like “Following” and “Memento,” still brings an indie sensibility to big-budget movies. “There's no fucking around on set,” the actor notes. “He's a great problem solver. In that way, he's very indie. Here's a guy who could have whatever budget he wants — and we finished shooting early.”

[Compiled from the Internet by Showbiz Desk]

Published: 12:00 am Saturday, April 19, 2014

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