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McConaughey talks about Texas, life and a new film

February 4, 2003

Matthew McConaughey knows after working with fellow celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck and Kate Hudson, that he's reached superstar status.

But he's still just a boy from Texas at heart.

"Texas is my home - that's where I have the ranch," he said. "I get back there when I can. When I go back there I can still meet some strangers, which is very cool."

McConaughey's latest film, "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," opens Friday.

The actor plays Benjamin Barry, a bachelor who makes a bet he can stay in a relationship for more than 10 days.

Hudson stars alongside him as Andie Anderson, a journalist who is writing a story about how to lose a man in 10 days.

"He's playing a game and the ironic thing is that they get together because they're playing a game," McConaughey said of his character.

"They wouldn't have found each other if they hadn't both played a game."

This gamble makes "10 Days" a unique plot men can be drawn into, with a relationship ploy all audience members can enjoy, McConaughey said.

"What makes this movie different than the typical romantic comedy is No. 1, the setup," he said. "It's got a great setup."

Hudson's acting experience is another aspect that makes the film distinctive, McConaughey said.

"She's a really talented actress and also very natural," he said.

"She's got great timing and the chemistry between us on screen is one of the undeniable parts of the film."

After memorable roles in films such as "Dazed and Confused," "A Time to Kill" and "Amistad," McConaughey said roles in romantic comedies are part of creating a diverse acting portfolio.

"I just want to mix it up, man," he said. "I like doing different things.

"I love to travel and when I first got started, I remember writing in my diary that it's like one of the 'iatries,' like psychiatry, but I don't have to stay in class the whole semester."

McConaughey's role as the 20-something, pot-smoking Wooderson in "Dazed and Confused" is still praised by fans of the film, and he admitted the character is someone he wouldn't mind playing again.

"Coming up next, I've got a feeling it's going to be a little more Wooderson-esque," he said. "I feel a bit of a hippie coming on."

Wooderson is quoted in the film as saying, "The older you get, the more rules they're gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin' man, L-I-V-I-N."

McConaughey said the quip is something that's stuck with him throughout a variety of roles in the film industry.

"That actually wasn't scripted," he said. "It came out of my mouth at the time.

"That's sort of my motto if I've got one. Ever since that movie, I've said, 'That makes a lot of sense, McConaughey.'"

McConaughey said he's now focused on spending time on his western Texas ranch and working on a feature script.

He'll also appear on this weekend's episode of NBC's "Saturday Night Live" for the first time.

And although he intends to continue his involvement in a variety of films, he said an impending war on Iraq likely wouldn't persuade him to take roles in more light-hearted movies.

"I probably wouldn't consciously do that, but I probably wouldn't inherently be led that way either," he said. "I wouldn't consciously make a choice to go, 'Oh, this is a good form of entertainment and escapist medicine.'

"I don't think of movies like that, even though they do serve that purpose sometimes."


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