Matthew McConaughey rejected a $14.5 million paycheck for a rom-com so he could make serious movies

Zac Ntim
·2 min read
matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey said he took the rom-com baton from Hugh Grant and ran with it. Dimitrios Kambouris/GettyImages
  • Matthew McConaughey turned down a $14.5 million paycheck to star in another romantic comedy. 

  • In an excerpt from his new memoir titled "Greenlights" seen by IndieWire, McConaughey explained that he turned down the offer, one of the biggest of his career, so that he could pursue more dramatic work. 

  • "I declined the offer," McConaughey said. "If I couldn't do what I wanted, I wasn't going to do what I didn't, no matter the price."

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Matthew McConaughey explained his big shift away from romantic comedies, revealing he turned down a $14.5 million paycheck to find more dramatic work. 

In an excerpt from his new memoir titled "Greenlights" seen by IndieWire, McConaughey breaks down his lucrative rom-com decade where hits such as "How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days," "The Wedding Planner," and "Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past" made millions at the box-office and turned him into a household name. 

"The romantic comedies remained my only consistent box office hits, which made them my only consistent incoming offers," he explains in the memoir, which was published on Tuesday. 

"For me personally, I enjoyed being able to give people a nitty-minute breezy romantic getaway from the stress of their lives where they didn't have to think about anything, just watch the boy chase the girl, fall down, then get up and finally get her. I had taken the baton from Hugh Grant, and I ran with it."

fool's gold movie
Matthew McConaughey alongside Kate Hudson in 2008's "Fools Gold." Warner Bros.

But by 2010, the actor explained that he was no longer interested in churning out romantic comedies and wanted his career to move in a new direction, which led to him turning down $14.5 million — one of the biggest paychecks of his career — to star in an unnamed rom-com. 

"I declined the offer," McConaughey said. "If I couldn't do what I wanted, I wasn't going to do what I didn't, no matter the price."

With this thematic shift, McConaughey kickstarted what became affectionately known as the "McConaissance" — the actor started to appear in smaller, independent films led by acclaimed directors such as Richard Linklater and Jeff Nichols.

And in 2013, McConaughey won a Best Actor Oscar for his performance in "Dallas Buyers Club," which was quickly followed by a leading role in Christopher Nolan's acclaimed sci-fi epic "Interstellar," as well as an Emmy-nominated performance in HBO's critically acclaimed crime drama "True Detective."

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