As I was lounging on my couch this past week watching How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, dreaming about Matthew McConaughey chasing me down in a cab to proclaim his love, I realized how far he truly has come. Sure, everyone loves a classic rom-com here and there, but we all knew McConaughey could shine beyond his southern charm. Ladies and gents, welcome to the McConaissance.
This is the type of era that most actors don’t get to live out. Once you get a reputation for playing the mediocre roles of surfer dudes and love-blind boy toys, it tends to be difficult to climb higher on the performance ladder. Somehow, though, McConaughey was able to do it, even after Ghosts of Girlfriends Past seemed to be his final straw. According to IMDb’s list of best performances of the McConaissance, his real breakout role was in 2011 as Mick Haller in The Lincoln Lawyer. Also in 2011, McConaughey starred in Bernie as Danny Buck and Killer Joe as Killer Joe Cooper. In 2012, he moved on to play Ward Jansen in The Paperboy, Mud in Mud and Dallas in Magic Mike. Most recently in 2013, he was cast as Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club and Mark Hanna in The Wolf of Wall Street.
Yes, the women love him in Magic Mike as a perfectly sculpted male stripper (more attractive than even Channing Tatum, dare I say), but the variety of roles that he’s been cast in and succeeded at over the past few years is beyond impressive. Shedding almost 40 pounds for Dallas Buyers Club, McConaughey proves he has more going for him than just looks, playing a homophobic AIDS infected cowboy. The role earned him a nomination in the Best Actor Oscar’s category, which airs March 2, 2014.
Will McConaughey be able to continue this streak of success? From the looks of things, it sure seems that way. Starring next to Woody Harrelson, his role as a homicide investigator in HBO’s hit series True Detective is already has Emmy speculations for later in the year. Also, McConaughey will be playing a lead part in Christopher Nolan’s next film, Interstellar, scheduled to release Nov. 7, 2014. If all goes well, this comeback story has no end in sight.