Few actors have ever transformed themselves quite like Matthew McConaughey. Beginning his career as a lovable stoner in Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused, the artist defined himself by a string of romantic comedies throughout the 2000s before completely reinventing himself in recent years. Although his romantic comedy years seem like an easier era in his career, the actor recently admitted that they presented a clear challenge that he didn't necessarily experience in his more critically lauded dramatic roles. McConaughey explained:
They are thin, by design. You come in on a cloud and you skip from cloud to cloud, and if you drop anchor in a romantic comedy, you will sink the ship. If it's a scene where boy meets girl and I get really mad for a second, uh-uh, cut. 'You can't get mad because we won't believe you can make it back.' That's how it goes. No, no, no. What's easier about a drama is that: with every question, you can hang your hat on what would this character humanly do? You're looking for reality all the time. You don't go pining for reality in a romcom. You're supposed to stay up there and bounce.
Matthew McConaughey's comments to The Guardian about his previous roles seem to highlight the inherent difficulty in a genre that would seem easy on the surface. The problem with romantic comedies is that they don't allow an actor to dig deep, so a guy like McConaughey always has to resist his instincts to go serious or dark with the material. While movies like How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days and Fool's Gold may seem easier at first glance, the lack of flexibility can prove troublesome for an actor -- particularly one as talented as McConaughey.
That seems to be one of the biggest reasons why McConaughey has moved on from the romcom genre. The actor has turned in a series of critically acclaimed performances since the beginning of the decade, ranging for his Oscar-winning portrayal of Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club, to his now iconic turn as Rust Cohle in HBO's True Detective -- just to name a few. If you ask me, it's a welcome change of pace.
Of course, that doesn't mean that Matthew McConaughey has shied away from comedy altogether. One look at the trailer for his new movie Gold will instantly tell you that his charm and comedic chops remain on full display. The difference here seems to be that (unlike romantic comedies) he has chosen more full-bodied comedic roles that allow him to show a bit more range.
Luckily for Mr. McConaughey, he seems to have nestled himself into a nice little niche of challenging yet fulfilling dramatic roles. Gold is currently in theaters, so make sure to check it out!