The year 2010 was a pivotal moment for Matthew McConaughey. The actor was coming off a decade as the face of the romantic-comedy genre thanks to “The Wedding Planner,” “How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days,” “Failure To Launch,” “Fool’s Gold,” and “Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past,” nearly all of which grossed over $100 million at the worldwide box office. As McConaughey writes in his new memoir “Greenlights,” rom-com offers were about the only offers he was getting at the turn of the decade.
“The romantic comedies remained my only consistent box office hits, which made them my only consistent incoming offers,” McConaughey writes. “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.”
But come 2010, McConaughey’s heart was no longer with the rom-com genre. No wonder the infamous “McConaissance” began in 2011 with a string of character-driven indie projects such as “Bernie,” “Killer Joe,” and “Mud.” McConaughey writes in the book that he “enjoyed making romantic comedies, and their paychecks rented the houses on the beach I ran shirtless on,” but when the time came to move on he did so without looking back.
Moving on for McConaughey meant turning down one of the biggest offers of his career: a $14.5 million paycheck in 2010 to make another rom-com. McConaughey does not reveal which rom-com he rejected, but turning down $14.5 million makes it clear how serious he was about saying goodbye to the genre that made him a household name.
“I declined the offer,” McConaughey writes. “If I couldn’t do what I wanted, I wasn’t going to do what I didn’t, no matter the price.”
McConaughey’s career change in 2011 opened the door to some of his most beloved performances, including “Magic Mike” and “True Detective.” The actor won the Oscar for “Dallas Buyers Club,” which was quickly followed by Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar.” Since leaving the rom-com genre behind with 2009’s “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past,” McConaughey has yet to return. The actor’s most recent film credit was Guy Ritchie’s “The Gentlemen,” and he’ll reprise his voice role in the upcoming animated sequel “Sing 2.”
McConaughey’s memoir “Greenlights” is now available for purchase.