It’s no secret that Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey’s career has gone from strength to strength. Since his first breakout role in Dazed and Confused in 1993, he quickly became the go-to lead in romantic comedies in much loved film’s such as The Wedding Planner, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Fool’s Gold. Moving to more dramatic roles in 2011 he earned himself a fully deserved Academy Award, Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor in Dallas Buyers Club in 2013. To celebrate the Home Entertainment release of his latest film Gold we’re taking a look at seven of his greatest roles that really cemented him into the acting legend that he is today.
Dazed and Confused (1993)
This classic high school comedy from indie legend Richard Linklater interestingly featured a large ensemble cast of actors who would later become stars such as Adam Goldbery, Ben Affleck and Jason London to name a few and of course Matthew McConaughey was no exception. McConaughey played the role of David Wooderson and oozed confidence and coolness with every line. The coming-of-age film kick-started McConaughey’s film career and was instantly listed as one of the best high school movies at the time.
Killer Joe (2011)
William Friedkin’s brilliant noir thriller saw McConaughey star in the title role. Proving himself as a diverse actor as he moved from Rom-Coms to more dramatic roles, he played the role brilliantly cementing his capabilities at mastering any genre he put his mind to. He utilises his signature charm but flips it on its head to create the true incarnation of evil decked out in a cowboy hat and sunglasses.
Magic Mike (2012)
McConaughey is pure charisma as Dallas, the head of Xquisite Strip Club in Steven Soderbergh’s drama Magic Mike. He starred alongside Alex Pettyfer and Channing Tatum, with the latter developing the story based on his own life experiences. It’s hard to think of a better role for the actor than an auteur directed film that allows him to play a larger than life character. The film gained critical and commercial success, which led to the film’s sequel Magic Mike XXL released in 2015.
Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
In his Academy Award role, Matthew McConaughey takes on the real life character of Ron Woodroof who works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he is diagnosed with the disease. McConaughey was praised for his performance and the film received universal acclaim. In this role, one of his most definitive roles to date, McConaughey is equal parts charismatic, believable and utterly devastating. His stunning performance was credited with an Academy Award, Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Whilst only appearing briefly, McConaughey certainly makes his mark in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, a tale of Wall Street’s greed and corruption. He plays the role of Mark Hanna a cutthroat Stockbroker who advises Jordan Belfort (Leonardo Dicaprio) on how to survive his first job in the industry. The scene is arguably the highlight of the movie.
True Detective (2014)
True Detective is the centrepiece of the much talked about McConaissance that began around the time of Mud, Magic Mike and The Lincoln Lawyer. Seemingly coming out of nowhere, the show was instantly lauded as an incredibly cinematic series perfectly in control of its tone, themes and narrative. Whilst much of the credit for this achievement goes to Creator Nic Pizzolatto and Director Cary Fukunaga, McConaughey crafted an instantly iconic performance as the philosophically pondering and haunted Detective Rust Cohle.
Gold is the story of Kenny Wells, played by McConaughey, a modern-day prospector, hustler, and dreamer, desperate for a lucky break. Left with few options, Wells teams up with an equally luckless geologist to execute a grandiose, last-ditch effort: to find gold deep in the uncharted jungle of Indonesia, and when they make the largest gold find in the history of time, they realise this dream is only the beginning of the adventure. The centrepiece of Gold is McConaughey’s bravura performance and his ability to craft a fully realised and engrossing character.
Gold is out now on Digital Download, Blu-ray and DVD.