He to be 23 and making Dazed and also Confused as soon as he to be blindsided by his dad’s death. One excerpt from the new oral history Alright, Alright, Alright about the disastrous days the birthed a star.

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One the the reasons civilization still love to clock Dazed and Confused is the it transports you back in time—not simply to 1976, but also to 1992, once it was filmed. You have the right to return come the days when Ben Affleck still had baby fat and Parker Posey tho smacked her gum. We get older. They remain the exact same age. The actors is forever maintained onscreen at a moment of infinite potential, one of the last moments before they’d have to start acting much less like continual goofballs and more like movie stars. “We went into the movie a bunch that kids, and also we came out a lot an ext mature,” says Jason London. “It was the beginning of us ending up being adults.”

No one felt that change more acutely 보다 Matthew McConaughey. He was 23 years old as soon as he filmed Dazed, and like his character, Wooderson, he to be still mostly hanging out with younger people. He hadn’t yet finished his undergraduate researches at the university of Texas, and he to be still partying through his fraternity brothers. However he was just on collection a few days once two things occurred that forced him to prosper up fast. First, his father died. Then he ceded the heat that reinvented him indigenous a bit player into a leading man.

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: i was around four or five days into shooting and also I gained the call.

MONNIE WILLS (friend): Matthew was shooting nights, sleeping during the day. His mommy tried to contact us and also we no answer the phone because it was early. We might even have turned the ringers off. His girlfriend Toni involved the house and also came to mine room since she couldn’t carry herself come tell Matthew what had actually happened. She remained in tears. I might barely get it the end of her. She said, “I can not be the one come tell him.”

So ns went down and also said, “Matthew, something’s happened. You require to speak to your mom.”

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: my dad died making love to my mother. Six-thirty top top a Monday morning. Mine dad had always told me and also my 2 brothers, “Boy, once I go, i’m going to it is in making love to your mother,” and he did. Talk around a badass! The guy called his shot about how he to be leaving this earth and did it.

S.R. BINDLER (friend): it is perfect, right? It’s favor Babe Ruth pointing the bat and telling human being where he is gonna struggle the house run, and then hitting it.


Top: Matthew McConaughey on the collection of Dazed and Confused. Bottom: Fearsome senior girls Deena Martin, Michelle Burke, Joey Lauren Adams, and also Parker Posey.


Top: Rory Cochrane, Jason London, and also Sasha Jenson. Bottom: Milla Jovovich and Shawn Andrews.Top, COURTESY that THE criterion COLLECTION; bottom, COURTESY OF emphasis FEATURES.
SAM LAWRENCE (friend): Matthew referred to as me the job his dad died. “Dude, I need someone to hang the end with.” and also we ended up at a piece club. Through the way, if you ever want to feel totally invisible, walk to a strip club v Matthew McConaughey.

It to be weird. He was talking around his dad, really emotional stuff; we’re talking across the table, just looking at each other, and also in the meantime, strippers room walking throughout the table.

MONNIE WILLS: probably the following day, he called me and said, “We’re having actually a little thing. Do you wanna come as much as Houston?” i said, “Of course.” So ns drove to Houston. It was a small, intimate gathering.

JASON LONDON (actor): He had actually one the those very close families. Ns met his dad once, and also Jim was choose your common John Wayne Texas cowboy, and his mom was lovely. You can tell the they were all madly in love through each other, and also if the human being ended, they would be the end there on your compound and also they would certainly be the last to survive. I mean, they had fucking tanks and shit! They had rocket launchers! i don’t understand why. For fun?

MONNIE WILLS: everyone was informing stories about Jim. Us were drink a most Miller Lite and trying to be upbeat.

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: We had actually an ireland wake. It was full-on roasting the snot the end of him.

JASON DAVIDS SCOTT (publicist): Later, who said, “What to be the service like?” and also Matthew said, “Well, my mommy told the story about how mine dad died. They to be in the plot of lovemaking.” and also apparently his mother said—at the funeral!—“By the way, that did obtain to finish.”

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: Dad was in the oil business, and he had a many of human being that owed him money. He had actually hired two guys to go collect for him. Well, among them was choose six feet four, his surname was big Ray, and also he had actually dark shades, dark suit. And also the other one was this tiny Asian guy, around five feet two. And what they evidently did was, Ray went over behind the workdesk of the human being who owes Dad. “Hey, ns hear you owe Mr. McConaughey. We’ve been trying to collect this in a congenial manner. We’ve given you a few chances. Time’s up.” and also he’s like, “Yeah, the comin’! ns gettin’ it right now!”

“See, we’ve been yes, really patient v you, sir…” and also as they’re having this creepy, quiet conversation with this man, big Ray move behind the desk, and the oriental guy’s putting on a pair of black gloves. Large Ray take away the Houston call book, elevator the male up, stop the guy’s eight back, and also holds the Houston phone book against his chest. Now, the oriental guy elevator up a pistol. Well, the male just dropped to the ground, shit himself, crying, “I’m payin’! ns payin’!” Goes to the safe, offers him the money, blah, blah, blah.

Big ray says, “Don’t let it take place again, or next time my man right here won’t just use a .22.” since a .22 will only make it come M in the Houston call book.

Isn’t that great? Dad love shady deals, man. He collected on that, however what was much better than collecting the money was having actually that story.

S.R. BINDLER: Jim was a an excellent storyteller, charming together hell. He had a twinkle in his eye, man. Matthew is a movie star, and charms everybody he meets, but you placed him alongside Jim McConaughey, she gonna clock Jim McConaughey, friend know? and also Matthew would love to hear that.

Matthew no dwelling on the fact that he lost his father. That was, how have the right to I honor my father? What are great stories I have actually from my father? What did my father teach me?

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: i was do the efforts to number out what that means, when you lose a father.


Top: Joey Lauren Adams and Parker Posey. Bottom: Matthew McConaughey through director Richard Linklater, who was complying with up his debut movie, Slacker.



MONNIE WILLS: I understand Matthew was probably processing all that was happening, yet there’s no world where K-Mac, his mom, is gonna let those guys wallow in any type of kind of self-pity.

S.R. BINDLER: at Matthew’s house, if we went out and also spent the night there, the 7 a.m., K-Mac storms into Matthew’s bedroom, flings open the blinds and also the drapes. Texas summer sunlight is take it in. And also she it s okay a large gallon pot the water with ice in it, and would dump that on us. “It’s 7 a.m.! You men can’t sleep every day! gain out that the bed!”

MONNIE WILLS: Matthew said me if he got up in the morning and also came down v a negative attitude, she’d send him back to his room and would accurate say, “Get ago in bed. Get out of bed. Shot again.” She did no let Matthew have any sense of, “Oh, you’re a victim, you negative thing.” that like, something’s not going right? walk look in the mirror. It is the man right there that deserve to handle the for you.

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: We had actually very basic rules in my house. Friend weren’t allowed to to speak can’t. You have the right to say, “I’m having trouble.” i remember the lesson really clearly. It to be a Saturday morning, i was claimed to mow the lawn; i was having trouble getting the lawn mower started. I went in and told my dad, “I can’t gain the lawn mower started.” and he’d hear that word, and you’d view his ears perk up, and you witnessed his jaw begin to kinda grindin’ his molars, and he slowly got up, go outta the house, do the efforts to begin the lawn mower, didn’t start. He took the point apart, placed some brand-new gas, put a brand-new spark plug, whatever, and around 45 minutes later, it started.

He hadn’t said a indigenous this whole time, and also then the looked at me, he goes, “See? You to be just having actually trouble.

MONNIE WILLS: i think Matthew would tell friend the method his dad passed away is about as great as you could ask for. The reasonable of the made sense to Matthew, the his dad was a happy man and also had no real regrets and also it no tragic. And I think the nexus between being right in the middle of production and also his dad passing developed some type of power in him.

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: My household was like, “You’ve got to go back.” it was evident to go back. What my dad taught united state was resilience. No method was i going to be moping around and also miss what I was in the middle of doing.

JASON DAVIDS SCOTT: Don Phillips had flown in for the funeral, and everybody was like, okay, he’ll be gone because that a couple of days. This was the beginning of the Emporium week, for this reason it was like, we’ll shoot roughly Matthew, he’s no a significant character, the doesn’t need to be in every scene.

JASON LONDON: Matthew no on set. For this reason it was like, “Where’s Matthew?” and Rick bring away me aside, like, “We’re flipping the schedule around right now, we’re do the efforts to figure out what we’re gonna do. Matthew’s dad died.” and we’re like, “Oh my God oh my God oh my God.”

We look up, and Matthew’s right there. and also I’m like, “Are you sure his dad died?”

JASON DAVIDS SCOTT: the was earlier the following day. ns remember seeing a couple of civilization crying. Everyone’s coming out, saying, “Oh Matthew, i’m so sorry.

RICHARD LINKLATER (writer-director-producer): I experienced him wade up. I simply ran end to him and we talked because that a while. Ns was simply trying to gauge wherein he to be at. Yet he to be like, “No, man, i’m good.”

JASON DAVIDS SCOTT: the was the work he does, “That’s what i love around these high institution girls, man. I get older, they remain the exact same age.”

ANTHONY RAPP (actor): “I get older, they continue to be the very same age”? that’s funny, but it’s yes, really fucked up.

RICHARD LINKLATER: It’s meant to be harsh. Sasha’s character, Don, says Wooderson should go come jail because that saying that.

BEN AFFLECK (actor): In irradiate of the Me also era, it’s no an entirely ideal thing to it is in quoting. It more than likely never was. “I keep acquiring older and also they remain the exact same age”? it is R. Kelly’s anthem.

But come this day, civilization still quote that line to me, and also I’m not also in the scene. It is a testimony to Matthew’s massive charm.

THE HUSTLERMatthew McConaughey has always been attracted to characters, and also people, outside the mainstream.From UNIVERSAL/GRAMMERCY/KOBAL/SHUTTERSTOCK.
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: ns mean, if we’re gonna sit here and do any kind of psychoanalysis or target judgment, if she gonna try to break Wooderson down, you’re already in a various narrative 보다 he is. The day-to-day world, the manners and also social graces, and also the method life is supposed to go on and men are an alleged to evolve—yeah, he doesn’t fit in that. He’s on his own frequency. He is life in ignorance.

Wooderson is no the type of guy who’s gonna get mindful of, like, “Oh, this is creepy.” He’s just the type of guy that goes, “I’m i m really sorry you view it that way. Whatever’s walking on in your life, ns hope you obtain through it.” i love characters and also people in life with great convictions that are outside of the mainstream. At least you check out where they stand. At the very least they’re not trying come placate and pander. You have the right to trust Wooderson, man. He’s best there in the open up with you. Yes sir nothing around him that I ever saw as creepy—which could be specifically why that’s even creepier. Yet you can say that, no me, you understand what ns mean?

In every script, girlfriend hopefully acquire at the very least one what I speak to a “launch-pad line.” you go, okay, if ns deconstruct the definition of this, yes sir a book on this character.

That heat Rick wrote, you unpack the line. That not just thinks that, but believes that? it is this guy’s DNA. The has gotten to a ar where he’s like, “I’ve out-Peter Panned Peter Pan! i have gained this figured out!” i mean, he is not reasoning ahead: “Oh, this will be tougher in 10 years.” No, no, no, no. Wooderson actions forward to the curb and also says that, like, to the world. to the ether.

It’s a mantra. that a philosophy. he’s pleased with his place and also his collaborates in the universe. You might say he is delusionally optimistic.

VALERIE DEKEYSER (production assistant): The minute those words come out the his mouth, i swear to God, he immediately took united state all: the cast, the crew. It was like, “Holy shit. Who is the guy?”

JASON DAVIDS SCOTT: Don turned to Jim Jacks and said, “This is a movie star.” It to be weird due to the fact that he wasn’t a large character. He wasn’t also on mine radar.

JOHN CAMERON (first assistant director): he was simply a guy, right? Just an additional one the the cast, and also one that the lesser-known people. Us had world who had currently established a reputation, even in your youth, and Matthew just came in and also blew everybody away. And also it really elevated the film. The made that something, come me, past just funny. He lugged a feeling of sadness.

DEB minister (set decorator): he was handling this deep, deep loss as he was doing his job. How could all of us not love this man after suffering that? and this was going to continue to be with him, v all the successes the experienced.

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: it was an extremely cool that ns had already started the film as soon as my dad passed away. He acquired to be alive for what came to be what I carry out with mine career. There’s elegant in that for me.

MONNIE WILLS: ~ his dad died, a switch flipped because that sure. Girlfriend know, girlfriend hear these story of, like, invoice Clinton meets man F. Kennedy once he’s 16 years old and he decides, “I’m gonna be president one day,” or the moment that provides Tiger Woods decide, “I’m gonna be the finest golfer.” after his father passed, ns think some type of ambition clicked right into Matthew. Like, life is short and also I’m gonna do the things I’m an excellent at. And also I don’t offer a fuck what anybody rather thinks.

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