League, founder of the Alamo Drafthouse, will be an executive producer on the film, described as “an irreverent comedy that follows the misadventures of Moondog (McConaughey), a rebellious and lovable rogue who lives life large.” Sounds about right for Austin’s spirit animal.
Then in February, he said it was time for the country to “embrace, shake hands and be constructive” with President Donald Trump, which — based on the president’s current approval rating of 34 percent — many Americans are not doing. (You’ll notice we haven’t called him “Austin spirit animal” lately. That office might be up for grabs.)
He’s in Ohio right now shooting the period crime film “White Boy Rick” (with Lorain County and Cleveland playing the role of Detroit), and we’ll see him Aug. 4 in the movie version of “The Dark Tower,” playing evil sorcerer Walter Padik.
But today, we thought we’d take you back to the” alright alright alright” days of 1992, when our man played murder victim and Pasadena, Texas resident Larry Dickens on an episode of “Unsolved Mysteries.” The glory starts at around the four-minute mark. Enjoy.
Lee Daniels is a TV and movie powerhouse — co-creator of “Empire” and “Star,” Oscar-nominated director of “Precious” and other films — but this year is only his first visit to South by Southwest. And he’s starting the SXSW experience in a big way — he’ll be delivering a keynote address Sunday.
Asked if he would be getting in touch with McConaughey while in town, Daniels said: “Will Matthew be there? I think I’ll call him right after this to see if he can maybe find me better accommodations than a hotel.”
Sure, Matthew McConaughey reportedly put on more than 40 pounds to get into character as Kenny Wells, the somewhat sketchy fellow at the heart of “Gold.” He hit the cheeseburgers, and he hit them hard.
But what really jumps out at you is his hair, a comb-over with that sort of half-halo thing about the back that some men get. It is … not the most flattering look. It is extremely unexpected to see on a movie star.
“I haven’t told anyone else this. I went to the hair lady, said, ‘It’s this guy’s hair,’ and handed her a picture of Dana Holgorsen,” McConaughey said, laughing uproariously.
Holgorsen, for those not versed in the ins and outs of college football, is the current head coach at West Virginia. He did time in various offensive coordinator gigs at Oklahoma State, Houston and Texas Tech.
But Austin spirit animal Matthew McConaughey mingled at an invite-only cocktail party at the Highball on Thursday before introducing his new film “Gold,” his inspired-by-true-events film about a 1980s precious metals prospector named Kenny Wells who, with a geologist partner, heads to Indonesia to make his proverbial fortune.
Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League introduced McConaughey by big-upping not “Dazed and Confused,” the traditional starting place for talking about McConaughey, but by discussing his “intense screen presence” in “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation” (except for the robotic leg; nobody liked that leg).
McConaughey introduced “Gold,” a project he had been developing for five or six years before getting director Stephen Gaghan to sign on, by telling a great story about his dad. When McConaughey was 17 years old, he and his dad went out to get “stocking stuffers” for the holiday season.
He and his dad head off to a parking lot, at which McConaughey Senior introduced his son to a man named Chicago John, who had a variety of items in the back of a van (“microwaves, hair dryers”). McConaughey said his father purchased an item from this gentleman. McConaughey couldn’t see what it was, but it was the sort of thing for which one peels off stacks of bills and one wraps in a bunch of paper towels.
“I don’t know if I’ve got a ferret or what,” McConaughey said. He and Matthew get back in their car, the item stuffed in the glove box. Said McConaughey Senior to son: “See if it’s still in there.”
McConaughey unwraps it. It’s a watch. “‘That’s a $22,000 titanium Rolex I just bought for $3,000,’ Dad said.
“Now, that watch was probably not worth $500,” McConaughey said, “but my dad loved a shady deal,” the sort that captures the spirit of Kenny Wells, whom McConaughey said is his favorite character he has ever played.
The extremely enjoyable “Gold” opens Jan. 27. Look for a review of the movie before that date.
McConaughey, who graduated from UT in 1993 with a radio-television-film degree, has starred in dozens of movies over the years, including “Dazed and Confused,” “Bernie,” “Magic Mike” and “Dallas Buyers Club.”