Why Matthew McConaughey Questioned Whether His 'Dazed and Confused' Pay Was "Legal"

Anne Marie Fox
McConaughey in 'Dallas Buyers Club'

In his own words, the 'Interstellar' star — set to receive a star Monday on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — looks back at some of his key films

This story first appeared in the Nov. 21 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Matthew McConaughey has his eyes on the stars in Interstellar, but it’s right here on Earth that he’ll leave his mark on Nov. 17, when his name is unveiled on a star on Hollywood’s legendary Walk of Fame.

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First, though, the 45-year-old Oscar winner took a few moments to reminisce with THR about some of his films along the way.

Dazed and Confused (1993)

“I was scheduled to work for three days. [Director] Richard Linklater kept inviting me back for what turned into three weeks’ work. And the cast just freely let me integrate my character [David Wooderson] into each scene. I was getting paid a SAG day rate, which was 300-and-something dollars, and I remember having so much fun on the set that I questioned if that kind of pay was even legal.”

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A Time To Kill (1996)

“[Director] Joel Schumacher kept reminding me how simple the process was. He would not let me complicate it. His constant reminder was, ‘You are Jake Brigance; it’s that simple,’ which were very wise words for a young actor who was a firsttime 'lead’ in this big studio film.”

Contact (1997)

“[Director] Robert Zemeckis was choreographing some major camera moves. I, as an actor, had to learn the art of timing my performance with certain moves that we had rehearsed. To do that and remain relaxed was a great discipline to learn.”

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)

“I remember the repartee between Kate Hudson] and me. The back and forth between the guy and the gal in romantic comedies sets the rhythm and has to maintain a certain buoyancy to fit the meter — as well as the audience being in on jokes that either her or my character are not in on. That is where the audience’s interactive experience with romantic comedy lives.”

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Magic Mike (2012)

“What director Steven Soderbergh said to me in our first phone conversation about my character, Dallas, was, ‘I mean, he’s pretty connected to UFOs.’ Well, that just blew the lid off any legalities regulations or compromises I might have ever related to Dallas.”

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

“Eight days before the first day of production, I received a call from [director] Jean-Marc Vallee telling me that the understood financing had fallen through, and we had to make it for $4.9 million instead of the expected $8 million. He said, ‘But I’ll be there in eight days to start shooting if you will.’ That kind of blind will, among so many people involved in the project, is what got it made."