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The actor, who is beginning to regain the weight (and color) lost for his role in The Dallas Buyers Club, was joined by Mud director Jeff Nichols and young co-star Tye Sheridan as the trio waxed poetic about love and filmmaking.
“I wanted to write a film about what it’s like to get your heart broken and how you process that and how you deal with it,” said Nichols, who wrote and directed the project. “I was thinking about mentors a lot at the time, and what they mean in our lives and how they pass through our lives and deliver information to us when we need it, and the movie just kept getting denser.”
Mud follows two teenage boys as they develop a relationship with a mysterious man, played by McConaughey, on the run from the law. His love and affections for one woman (Reese Witherspoon) fascinate them along the way.
“My character is just trying to find out if love really works, because his parents are going through a tough time in their relationship,” said Sheridan. “He just wants to see love work, and he sees the love [Mud] has for his girlfriend, he finds it interesting and he’s drawn to that.”
For McConaughey, married to Camilla Alves since June of last year, the character he plays possesses a different quality than many of his previous roles.
“This character is just really truly, truly innocent,” said the actor. “He’s a real example, as far as affairs of the heart, this guy, this love for one woman, singular love for one woman. His whole life would be in pursuit of her. I actually think if they got together it wouldn’t work. That’s beautiful. I really enjoyed that poetry.”
Reporting by Stacey Wilson.
Email: Sophie.Schillaci@THR.com; Twitter: @SophieSchillaci
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Academy Museum of Motion Pictures