In many ways, 2014 was the year of Matthew McConaughey. The A-lister co-starred alongside Woody Harrelson in the Emmy Award-winning, Golden Globe-nominated HBO mini-series “True Detective.” He starred in Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar,” which has already grossed over $660 million worldwide since its November 5th opening. And, he was already flying pretty damn high by the time either of those occurred. McConaughey kicked the year off with a bang, winning an Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his work in the 2013 film “Dallas Buyers Club.”
Speaking of flying high, it’s hard to believe it’s been over 21 years since McConaughey appeared in his first film, Richard Linklater’s “Dazed and Confused.” Of course, his “alright, alright, alright” has long since become an iconic and oft-repeated line from the movie, but who knew exactly what the future held for the then-23-year-old actor when the film came out in 1993? After all, not only was “Dazed and Confused” McConaughey’s first film, but with the exception of an appearance on “Unsolved Mysteries” in 1992, it was his first credited acting role.
Lucky for us, and thanks to The Criterion Collection, we all now have an inside glimpse at how the star of McConaughey first began to rise some twenty-odd years ago. Nearly a minute and a half of the actor’s “Dazed and Confused” audition tape is now on YouTube for all of our enjoyment. Sure, he’s younger and maybe not quite as debonair as he carries himself now, but damn if that’s not the same Matthew McConaughey who would go on to appear in over 37 more films — and numerous television shows — over the next two-plus decades.
Check out the audition below.