VIA “uproxx.com” by Vince Mancini
If you watched the Golden Globes last night (and I won’t judge you if you did), you might have seen a wolf-bearded Matthew McConaughey used as a frequent cutaway, and later become the subject of a pretty sweet JK Simmons joke (host Amy Poehler: “Or, as Matthew McConaughey calls him, ‘Just Keep Simmons.’”). McConaughey is now the most capital of A-listers.
But before A Time To Kill, before his run of awful rom-coms, and way before the McConnaissance, he was just ridiculously handsome, insanely laid back 23-year-old who had met the casting director of Dazed and Confused at the Hyatt bar where McConaughey’s buddy used to bartend and give him free beer (yes, that is the true Matthew McConaughey origin story).
That apparently led to this Dazed and Confused audition tape, released today by the Criterion Collection. Matthew McConaughey stars along side future nose bridge grabber Wiley Wiggins. It’s obvious from the beginning that no one but McConaughey could truly be Wooderson, and must have been just as obvious to the filmmakers. Yet, all I can think while watching this is, “Mother of God, that man is handsome.” In fact, “Dazed and Confused” is a great description of my sexuality right now.
It makes the rest of his story make so much sense. As I learned at SXSW last year, following Dazed and Confused, McConaughey drove to Hollywood to become an actor, and defying absolutely every struggling actor story you’ve ever heard, booked two consecutive parts at his very first two auditions.
For his second, for Angels in the Outfield (starring a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the part was for a baseball player. So McConaughey bought an old baseball hat at a 7/11, and walked in the room with the sun streaming in behind him, looking like a bronze Texas God-king. The director asked, “Have you played any ball?” “For 12 years,” McConaughey told him. “You’re hired,” said the director. [my original write-up from the event]