"Killer Joe" is the type of genre film you only need to know a few key details about to be intrigued.
First, Matthew McConaughey plays a crazy contract killer. Second, the plot revolves around a desperate young man (Emile Hirsch) who plots to kill his mother with help from his family (Thomas Haden Church, Gina Gershon), who are asked to offer up their teenage daughter (Juno Temple) as a retainer to hire the hit man. Third, the film landed an NC-17 rating for graphic aberrant content involving violence and sexuality. Bonus highbrow fact: The seemingly crazy story is based on Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Letts' award-winning play.
See what we mean about intriguing? When MTV News caught up with McConaughey recently, we asked him to set aside the film's outrageous factors for a moment in order to name a few of his character's redeemable qualities, aside from the killer-for-hire part.
"He keeps to himself until he has to go do his business. He's a very structured guy," McConaughey said. "Everyone understands, on the up-and-up, what his plan is and how he'll go through with it. It's a very clean business, and he doesn't want anyone else to know anything they shouldn't know that could implicate them. He's very, very clean and he's a very good businessman. He just happens to have a job that's kinda heinous and absurd."
The "Lincoln Lawyer" and "Magic Mike" said the fun of the film is in not knowing when to laugh or gasp — or both.
"It's a comedy, but everyone played it straight," McConaughey explained. "It wasn't a comedy where you played the joke. The situations are absurd. It's a bit of a hyper-reality, like in some good Tarantino films — very violent, at the same time it's very funny. It's the kind of late laugh that you go, 'I'm not supposed to be laughing, but I just found myself laughing, and is it OK for me to laugh at that? 'Cause I just did.' I like it."
It's Summer Movie Preview Week, and MTV News will be bringing you exclusive interviews, clips and photos for the most anticipated summer movies. Get ready to gorge on inside looks at "The Avengers," Robert Pattinson's "Bel Ami," Kristen Stewart's "Snow White," "The Amazing Spider-Man" and more!