Matthew McConaughey is revealing that he is, in fact, the mastermind behind the masterful “McConaissance” branding.
The Oscar winner detailed how he transitioned from playing the leading man in rom-coms like “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” “The Wedding Planner,” and “Failure to Launch” and taking on more serious roles in the 2010s, such as “The Lincoln Lawyer,” “True Detective,” and “Dallas Buyers Club.”
“Hollywood was not offering me [those roles] before,” McConaughey admitted during Chelsea Handler’s iHeart “Dear Chelsea” podcast.
Comedian Handler quipped that McConaughey then became part of the “McConaissance,” to which McConaughey said, “Oh jeez, it was some self-marketing.” The “Mud” actor admitted that while promoting the 2012 film, a journalist on the red carpet said he was “on a roll” and his career needed a catchphrase.
McConaughey said he fed the journalist a white lie, saying at the time, “Yeah, I was talking to this guy a minute ago and he actually called it the McConaissance.” Now, McConaughey said, “I threw it out there and he goes, ‘The McConaissance, I love that! You like that?’ And I go ‘Yeah, sounds good, man.’ So I snuck it in there and the son of a bitch, it stuck. So I made that up.”
McConaughey likened the slogan to a new “album cover” or “song title” branding for his career. In 2014, New Yorker writer Rachel Syme used the term as a headline for a piece on McConaughey’s comeback, raising even more awareness of the term the actor claims to have previously invented.
Back in 2017, McConaughey reflected on his rom-com run, calling the genre a “very thin wavelength” and leading his agent to turning down rom-com offers.
“The anxiety was in how long will it be dry, how long will we get nothing? My agent did a good job saying no, no, no. Then the studios got the message and quit sending them,” McConaughey told The Guardian. “Then there was an impasse of nothing. And there was nothing for about eight months.”
As for his more dramatic turn, McConaughey added, “People would say, ‘He used to just roll out of bed and go, “Just keep livin’, dude!” And now he got serious.’ No. I had just as many bookmarks and notes in those rom-coms as in ‘True Detective’ or ‘Dallas Buyers’ or ‘Gold.'”
The actor is set to lead a “Yellowstone” spin-off series and reunite with “True Detective” co-star and fellow executive producer with Apple TV+ comedy series about two Texan brothers.