Over the course of his career, Matthew McConaughey worked with some iconic directors and learned a lot along the way. McConaughey revealed what he learned from collaborating with Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis and Ron Howard in a 2017 interview with David Feherty.
Some great lessons were learned by Matthew McConaughey from the best
McConaughey was happy to have roles in movies directed by Spielberg, Zemeckis and Howard, and he benefited a great deal from spending time on set with them.
On the Feherty show, McConaughey said, “These are guys who grew up as storytellers and wanted to be filmmakers, they did that as young kids,” “I didn’t – I saw two movies before I was 17, so I didn’t come from a library of ‘Here are all the actors I know, here are all the movies I know.'”
“It’s all about “How do we tell the story? How do I tell my story?” he continued. “And you’re looking at every stage in life.
McConaughey went on to speak about how he was taught something different by each director. “From Spielberg, I learned how to prepare and how his energy and enthusiasm on set made for vibrancy and real humanity in the moment,” he explained.
The actor explained, “Zemeckis loved his toys, his cranes and his movements and things … so it was a whole different discipline that I learned working with him,”
“I’m not sure if some of the humor fits me – can I play with the script and improvise?”I’m not sure if some of the humor matches me – can I play and improvise with the script?
“You have to get me from A to B in the scene. I care what you say, but I don’t really care what you say. I need you to get me from A to B … do it your way.”In the scene, you have to get me from A to B. I care what you’re doing, but what you’re saying doesn’t really matter to me. I need you to get me from A to B… do it your way.
With that independence, he was able to find out what the scene demanded, McConaughey said. He explained, “That happened all the time and still happens today, and now I’ve just learned enough to have the confidence to go way off script, to just forget the script and actually experiment in a scene” to find, “Now I understand the beats of the scene as written.”
“Sometimes you have to leave what you know to find out what you know,” he said.
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The Matthew McConaughey charm was explained by Ron Howard
Ron Howard was easily won over by the charm of McConaughey.
In a 1999 interview with the New York Daily News, the director said, “Matthew has so much charm that we rewrote the script for him,”
“It was originally written for a guy from New Jersey, but I liked Matthew’s down-to-earth past,” Howard explained.
EDtv producer Brian Grazer recounted that the choice of McConaughey to drink a lemonade spilled on a table at Grazer’s house when the film meeting landed him the part. Grazer said, “The lemonade thing was the catalyst for me wanting to hire him,” “He’s a fun, blue-collar Texas guy who does crazy stuff. We wanted a good guy with a good spirit who was funny through and through.”
McConaughey was just keeping things real. “Something I’ve learned in this business is that the more you can be yourself, the better you are,” he said at the time. “There’s only one of you, so you’re a novelty.”
He was served well by that theory.