Matthew McConaughey opens up about quitting romantic comedies

·2-min read

Matthew McConaughey once turned down a $14.5 million (£10.3 million) payday after deciding to quit making romantic comedies in the hopes of reaching new heights as a dramatic actor.

The star had established himself as "the go-to rom-com guy" by the late 2000s, thanks to hits like The Wedding Planner, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and Fool's Gold, but he yearned to return to dramas.

And he decided the only way to do so was to turn his back on the feel-good movies for which he had become known.

"I wanted to do work that reflected my personal vitality. But no matter how much of a pay cut I would take, dramas were not being offered to me. So I quit (romantic comedies)," he told AARP The Magazine.

Not everyone in his family was on board with McConaughey's bold career move, but it was the support of his model wife Camila Alves which gave him the confidence boost he needed to step away from the spotlight until something more appealing came along.

He subsequently rejected "every rom-com script that came my way," including one which would have banked him $14.5 million, and for a while, he feared he had inadvertently brought about his own acting retirement.

"No offers came in for almost a year and a half," he said. "I was now shaking hands with the fact that I may never work in Hollywood again."

However, McConaughey's gamble paid off, and in 2011, he starred in The Lincoln Lawyer, which led to a string of dramatic roles in features like Killer Joe, The Paperboy, and Mud, as well as the critically-acclaimed TV series True Detective, before eventually winning the Best Actor Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club.

"I unbranded those two years to then rebrand," he said, reflecting on his career resurgence. "The dramas came my way and I jumped on them."