“If I couldn’t do what I wanted, I wasn’t going to do what I didn’t, no matter the price," Matthew McConaughey writes in his new memoir, Greenlights

By Eric Todisco
October 21, 2020 11:55 AM
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Matthew McConaughey is looking back at his decision a decade ago to veer away from romantic comedies and take on more dramatic acting roles.

In his new memoir Greenlights, published on Tuesday, the 50-year-old actor recalled wanting a change in his career after starring in many rom-coms during the early 2000s, including The Wedding Planner, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Fool's Gold.

“The romantic comedies remained my only consistent box office hits, which made them my only consistent incoming offers,” McConaughey wrote, according to IndieWire. “For me personally, I enjoyed being able to give people a nitty-minute breezy romantic getaway from the stress of their lives where they didn’t have to think about anything, just watch the boy chase the girl, fall down, then get up and finally get her. I had taken the baton from Hugh Grant, and I ran with it.”

Matthew McConaughey
| Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

While McConaughey admitted he "enjoyed making romantic comedies, and their paychecks rented the houses on the beach I ran shirtless on,” he was ready for something different. In 2010, he writes that he was offered a $14.5 million paycheck to star in yet another rom-com — and he turned it down.

“I declined the offer,” McConaughey wrote, per the outlet. “If I couldn’t do what I wanted, I wasn’t going to do what I didn’t, no matter the price.”

Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey in Fool's Gold

McConaughey's decision paid off as he began taking on more dramatic roles through the early 2010's, such as legal thriller The Lincoln Lawyer, crime film Killer Joe, coming-of-age drama Mud and, of course, Magic Mike.

After starring as AIDS patient Ron Woodroof in the 2013 biographical drama Dallas Buyers Club, McConaughey won the Academy Award for Best Actor. He followed that role up with The Wolf of Wall Street and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.

McConaughey even took a swing at the small screen, executive producing and starring in the first season of HBO's hit series True Detective opposite Woody Harrelson. Both stars earned an Emmy nomination for outstanding lead actor in a drama series, and the show was nominated for outstanding drama series.

Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club
| Credit: Everett

McConaughey announced the release of Greenlights in July, saying in an Instagram video at the time that the memoir is inspired by personal writings he's penned throughout his life.

"So, ever since I learned to write, I've been keeping a journal, writing down anything that turned me on, turned me off, made me laugh, made me cry, made me question, or kept me up at night," McConaughey said. "Two years ago, I worked up the courage to take all of those journals off into solitary confinement just to see what the hell I had. And I returned with a book."

"This is my sights and seens, nices and means, successes and failures," the Oscar winner said of his memoir. "Stories, people, places, prayers, prescribes, and a whole lot of bumper stickers."

Greenlights is available now.