Matthew McConaughey still plays the congas naked

Matthew McConaughey plays a homophobe who gets AIDS in the 1980s in "Dallas Buyers Club." Credit: Getty Images
Matthew McConaughey plays a homophobe who gets AIDS in the 1980s in “Dallas Buyers Club.”
Credit: Getty Images

Matthew McConaughey’s career transformation over the past two years might have something to do with realizing his public image had gotten a bit … fluffy.

“I get it,” McConaughey tells GQ magazine.

“Outdoors, shirtless on the beach, does a lot of rom-coms, girlfriends love him, good-looking. It’s like he rolls out of bed and shows up and makes it look easy.”

Indeed, in our review of his new Oscar-bait, “Dallas Buyers Club,” our reviewer says that the actor is finally “fulfilling his early potential.”

 A few years ago, Matthew McConaughey suddenly realized that his legacy was not as a master thespian, but as the star of dumb rom-coms whose posters typically had him leaning on his costars. Since then he’s switched to fulfilling his early potential, with swaggering turns in “Bernie,” “Magic Mike” and “Killer Joe.” Indeed, you couldn’t craft a more Oscar-friendly performance than the lead in “Dallas Buyers Club” if you tried. Playing Ron Woodruff, a real-life Texas racist homophobe who contracted AIDS in the early days of the crisis, it allows McConaughey to reform from bigotry, fight a disease, lose a ton of weight and self-righteously yell at unhelpful bureaucrats, Erin Brockovich style, all while rocking his charismatic McConaughey-ness.

But while McConaughey has gotten more serious in the roles he chooses, some things never change. “Of course I still play the congas naked,” he says. “I just close the windows.”


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