2012 was a great time to be Matthew McConaughey with acclaimed roles in “Magic Mike,” “Killer Joe,” and “The Paperboy.” But 2013 might end up being just as exciting for the newly re-invigorated actor. By the end of the year we’ll see a transformed McConaughey as a man diagnosed with HIV in “The Dallas Buyer’s Club” and in a supporting role in the latest Martin Scorsese/Leonardo DiCaprio collaboration, “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
But first, there is “Mud,” an odd coming-of-age/thriller/love story featuring the 43-year-old in the title role, as a homeless fugitive who comes to mentor two Arkansas teenage boys even as he pines for his one true love. MTV News spoke to McConaughey about “Mud,” getting over heartbreak, his upcoming film with “Dark Knight Rises” director Christopher Nolan, the much anticipated “Magic Mike” sequel… and whether Justin Bieber should put a shirt on.
MTV: Jeff Nichols, the director of “Mud,” says he wrote this part with you in mind. Is that a little scary when you receive a script knowing that?
Matthew McConaughey: You know, it wasn’t though. The script had such an identity of its own. I was on the ride with the story two pages in and never got off of that. I’ve had scripts that people said, “I wrote this for you” and I said, “Well yeah, you wrote the literal thing. I’m doing that story live!”
MTV: You’ve played some very idiosyncratic characters over the years. Where does Mud rank?
MM: Dallas in “Magic Mike,” he’s up in the ether, he’s in another universe, right? Mud’s in the clouds, though. He lives up there. I like to say he’s a guy who’s stepped in sh– so many times he now knows it’s good luck, you know? He’s spun his own logic to survive. He’s gone through hardship.
MTV: Mud is the definition of a hopeless romantic, refusing to give up on Juniper (Reese Witherspoon). Was there a love you pursued that didn’t reciprocate?
MM: Oh sure. And what sucks is the one you pursue that does receive it, wholeheartedly, and then throws it back and says, “I changed my mind.” That’s the one that gets you.
MTV: Want to name any names?
MM: [Laughs] No. But I’ve spoken to her. We’ve had a good laugh and shared a drink over it.
MTV: You’re going to be starring in Christopher Nolan’s next effort, the secretive sci-fi flick, “Interstellar.” Can you tell me how he approached you for it?
MM: Oh I can tell you a little bit but even that is sort of under lock and key. For whatever reasons, most of them I understand, they choose to say, “That’s our business, that’s how we do it, we don’t advertise it.” I spoke to [Christopher] months ago, not about anything specific. He’s a man who makes his own choices from an independent state and I’m glad that he saw something in me that he thinks I should be the guy.
MTV: Do you give the script a thumbs up?
MM: I give it a thumbs up.
MTV: What’s the prep for that?
MM: The prep? I’m not telling you anymore. You’re doing good though. You’re doing really good.
MTV: I’m just excited for it!
MM: Well I know, a lot of people are, I’m not telling you anything. For sure, it’s going to be a wonderful adventure.
MTV: Have you heard anything new about the “Magic Mike” sequel?
MM: The last person I talked to was Reid [Carolin], Channing’s [producing] partner. They are still working on it. I would bet that it’s probably going to happen. I don’t have any idea when. I don’t know what the storyline is now but I look forward to seeing what their ideas are.
MTV: I feel only you can properly weigh in on the Justin Bieber shirtless situation. He’s gotten some flak for always being shirtless.
MM: Really? He keeps doing it in airports though, right?
MTV: So wait, for the record, Matthew McConaughey is saying you have to wear a shirt in an airport?
MM: No, I’m not saying you gotta wear a shirt in an airport, especially cause I think he’s flying private, he can wear whatever he wants.
MTV: If Justin’s listening what would you say to him in terms of where it’s appropriate and where it’s not appropriate to wear a shirt?
MM: It’s appropriate wherever you say it’s appropriate. It’s your shirt.