Matthew McConaughey on Filming 'The Beach Bum': "It Was One Long Boozy, Stony Note"
The Los Angeles premiere also welcomed co-stars Snoop Dogg, Isla Fisher, Zac Efron, Jimmy Buffett and director Harmony Korine.
The Beach Bum tells the story of Moondog, a rebellious stoner taking Florida by drug-fueled storm, and from the sounds of it, behind the camera was just as much of a party as what was captured in front of it.
Matthew McConaughey, who plays the long-haired, eccentrically dressed character, described the shoot — which included some serious marijuana use, courtesy of Snoop Dogg — as seven weeks of "yes and indulgence and transcendence."
"It was one long boozy, stony note that was very musical," McConaughey told The Hollywood Reporter at the film's Los Angeles premiere Thursday at the ArcLight Hollywood. "I always say about this, it was all rhyme, no reason. There is no arithmetic going on with Moondog — he doesn't do math, somebody else can do the math."
In order to channel the free spirit, the actor said it took some introspection and turning off the responsible, hard-working side of himself, the side that is a parent to three young kids.
"I'm raising and lowering different levels of myself, so I'm turning off an awful lot of my own conscientiousness for Moondog, I'm turning off a lot of my own sense of responsibility, and I'm turning up some absolute blissful moments where I have not a care in the world," McConaughey said. "I'm turning up the times in my life where I don't have any crisis because I'm not giving crisis any credit. That's Moondog."
Isla Fisher, who co-stars in the movie, recalled a moment on set when McConaughey was "sucking my toes during an improv — that was up there with one of the more amusing and bizarre moments." After reading the script and seeing writer-director Harmony Korine's previous film Spring Breakers, the actress knew she wanted in and wanted to explore a kind of film she hadn't done before.
"I've always wanted to work with Harmony Korine. One of the things that I love about him is he doesn't try to apologize for his characters, he's not setting you up to see any redemption in anyone," Fisher said. "He just says, 'These are these humans, they're honest with each other, they're honest with you, come on for the ride.' And he's not married to typical formulaic Hollywood story points. It doesn't feel like a cookie-cutter movie."
Along with a supporting cast featuring Zac Efron, Jonah Hill and Martin Lawrence, The Beach Bum features some music — and party — legends in Snoop Dogg and Jimmy Buffett.
Buffett plays himself in the film, as his music is integrated into the storyline, and although he's done small parts in movies before, this one was special because of the collaboration with Snoop.
"I knew about Snoop. I was a huge admirer of him. We'd missed each other on the road out there, so it was just like meeting someone you'd known all of your life when we got out there," Buffett told THR. "It was so much fun doing it because, yeah, there was a script, but Harmony knew when to just let us go and when to reel us in, and I think that adds a lot to the movie."
The musician's favorite memory from set, in fact, involves sitting in a hot tub with Snoop as he ate a gigantic bowl of Froot Loops for a scene. "It just cracked me up, it kept everything on a very light moment for me," Buffett added. "The Froot Loops got me through a long day."
The Beach Bum hits theaters Friday.