Matthew McConaughey has lead the tributes to the director Joel Schumacher, who died yesterday at the age of 80.
McConaughey has said that he owes his career to Schumacher, who cast the then 27-year-old in the lead in his 1996 adaptation of John Grisham's A Time To Kill.
Read more: Director Joel Schumacher dies at 80
It was McConaughey's first lead role, and found him among a stunning cast including Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Spacey, Ashley Judd, and Kiefer and Donald Sutherland.
He told Variety: “Joel not only took a chance on me, he fought for me. Knowing the studio might never approve a relatively unknown like myself for the lead in A Time to Kill, he set up a secret screen test for me on a Sunday morning in a small unknown studio because as he stated, ‘Even if you do great, you may not get the part, so I don’t want the industry to ever think you screen tested and DID NOT get the job.’
“I don’t see how my career could have gone to the wonderful places it has if it wasn’t for Joel Schumacher believing in me back then.”
George Clooney, was Schumacher cast as Bruce Wayne in Batman & Robin, added: “[McConaughey's] career was absolutely started by Joel fighting for him in A Time To Kill. The studio wanted a star. Joel wanted him.”
Kiefer Sutherland, who also starred in Schumacher movies including The Lost Boys and Flatliners, called the director 'one of my dearest friends'.
A host of others chimed in in celebration of Schumacher's legacy, which also included bratpack hit St Elmo's Fire, Batman Forever and Falling Down.
Joel Schumacher has passed away. He saw deeper things in me than most and he lived a wonderfully creative and heroic life. I am grateful to have had him as a friend. pic.twitter.com/7kOeJ96rL8— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) June 22, 2020
#JoelSchumacher was the funniest, chicest, most hilarious director I ever worked with. Once,on set,an actress was complaining about me within earshot; how I was dreadfully over the top (I was)Joel barely looked up from his NYT+said “Oh Honey,no one ever paid to see under the top”— Minnie Driver (@driverminnie) June 23, 2020
RIP Joel Schumacher. I love St Elmo’s Fire. He was a (very) outspoken gay director before that was cool and his movies are a throwback to a time when Hollywood made something other than bloated action films or Oscar bait homework assignments. RIP Joel. I’m glad you had fun.— billy eichner (@billyeichner) June 22, 2020
I am in tears learning of Joel Schumacher's passing. He was a force. He was one of kind. Creative. Intense. Passionate. He played a huge part in the shaping of my life. I don't have the right words right now.— Emmy Rossum (@emmyrossum) June 22, 2020
PLEASE TAKE CARE OF OUR DUDE UP THERE IN HEAVEN! MAYBE NOW U CAN START TALKIN 2 #COREYHAIM ABOUT ALL THE THINGS WE CAN CREATE ONCE WE ALL MEET AGAIN IN ETERNITY! GOD BLESS U MY FRIEND! YOUR ART WILL LIVE ON IN INFAMY! #RIPJOELSCHUMACHER #THELOSTBOYS #BATMANFOREVER #FLATLINERS— Corey Feldman (@Corey_Feldman) June 22, 2020
Meanwhile, saxophonist Tim Capello, the sweating rock band frontman who was immortalised in The Lost Boys, said: “I’m so sad that I’ll never get to see him again. I always thought I’d get to have one more conversation with him, he was such a fun guy to shoot the s**t with, such an interesting, knowledgeable, funny guy.”
Schumacher died in New York yesterday, after a year-long battle with cancer.