Matthew McConaughey has won 48 awards, including an Oscar and a Golden Globe, and has been nominated over 75 times. Throughout a career spanning over 25 years, the actor has won several accolades and hearts. It’s rare to watch an actor take up roles every year, that are so different from each other, and succeed in doing justice to every single one of them. And the fact that he does it with such ease, is what makes him stand out from the rest. From a lawyer, to a stripper, from an AIDS victim, to an astronaut, he’s been them all.
In honour of the actor turning 49, we take a look at the most diverse roles he’s ever done:
Ron Woodroof – Dallas Buyers Club
In 2014, Dallas Buyers Club was released, in which Matthew played the role of a hardcore Texan, who’s suffering from AIDS, and struggles with the reality of the situation. He’s been given 30 days to live, but doesn’t trust modern medicine, so he goes on a hunt for alternate therapies and consumes unapproved drugs, hoping that it works.
McConaughey lost almost 22 kgs to portray the role of a man suffering from AIDS. He reportedly only ate one small bowl of tapioca pudding every day to help him lose weight, and prepare for the role. In an interview with the Daily Mirror, he said, “I got down to 143lbs and I was always hungry, and irritable. My body resembled a baby bird with its mouth open, crying, ‘Feed me, feed me,’ and you realise momma bird ain’t going to feed you. It’s hard.”
The level of commitment he brought to the role was truly unmatched, and it was no surprise, that he won the Oscar for Best Actor in 2014.
Mark Hanna – The Wolf Of Wall Street
Although for just a short period in the movie, Matthew left us with one of his most revered and adored performances, in Michael Scorsese’s, The Wolf Of Wall Street. In a film, that has a roster full of talented actors like Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie and Jonah Hill, it’s tough to standout, but he still did.
Playing the role of Mark Hanna, the top dog at a stock broker firm, Matthew really won audiences with his short, but unforgettable performance. The most memorable scene in the film, being the chest thumping money chant, was a scene that he completely improvised. Just goes to show the genius he is.
Mud – Mud
A Southern drama, that revolved around Matthew who played Mud, a fugitive, really did its job, in breaking down the good lawyer and rom-com hero impression, that he made early on in his career. Matthew played the role of Mud, who is an outlaw, seeking refuge in an abandoned boat, and surviving in the forests of rural America. He meets two young boys, whom he forms a friendly relationship with, and earns their trust.
The character of Mud is so complex, but it is performed with such ease that you don’t realise it. An outlaw who has the world looking for him, but his interaction with the boys, is so easy-going, it feels like a man on camping trip. McConaughey earned a lot of critical praise for his role and his performance convinced filmmakers, that he is open to take on much more challenging roles.
Dallas – Magic Mike
Well this was a role, that almost every one was curious to watch him do. Dallas is the owner of a male entertainment club named Xquisite and is also a stripper who is in love with himself. He had only one goal in mind for his female audience, he wanted to be ‘the husband they never had.’
The role of Dallas, almost seemed too perfect, because of his homegrown southern twang and the raw masculinity that he oozes.
Cooper – Interstellar
Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi drama thriller, Interstellar, was one of the biggest hits of the year, and is considered to be Nolan’s best work. But Matthew wasn’t far behind on the praises.
He played the role of Cooper, an astronaut, but more importantly, of a father, who sacrifices his life with his children, to ensure their safety, and the future of mankind.
In a poignant scene, Cooper sobs uncontrollably, after watching a video message of his daughter, while still in space, who reminds him that he had promised he would return. The scene had almost everyone reaching for a tissue. The expression on his face, portraying regret and a sense of failure, after breaking the promise he made to his daughter, is brought out with utmost perfection.
Matthew McConaughey is an actor, who is truly devoted to his craft, and possesses a passion for films that is unmatched. From dancing in a thong in a strip club, to zipping through wormholes as an astronaut, from showing off his abs, to being as light as a twig, is there anything he cannot do? Is there anyone he cannot be?