Matthew McConaughey explains why he quit acting for two years after Jennifer Garner romcom

Matthew McConaughey has reflected on his romantic comedy years in the 2000s, revealing they almost led him to quit acting full-time.

The Oscar-winning actor, who shot to fame after appearing in the courtroom drama A Time to Kill in 1996, became one of the most illustrious leading stars of romantic comedies in the 2000s.

Among his credits are The Wedding Planner (2001) co-starring Jennifer Lopez, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003), which he starred in alongside Kate Hudson, and Failure to Launch (2006) with Sarah Jessica Parker.

After a solid decade of starring in these films, though, McConaughey, 54, had had enough – and considered changing professions over fears he was typecast.

“I’ve usually zigged when I felt like Hollywood wanted me to zag,” he recently told Interview Magazine. “When I had my romcom years, there was only so much bandwidth I could give to those, and those were some solid hits for me.”

After reuniting with Hudson in Fool’s Gold (2008), McConaughey starred in Jennifer Garner film Ghosts of Girlfriends Past in 2009, which appeared to be the final straw.

“ I wanted to try some other stuff,” he explained, adding: “Of course I wasn’t getting it, so I had to leave Hollywood for two years.”

Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey in 2003 romcom ‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days' (John Clifford/Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock)
Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey in 2003 romcom ‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days' (John Clifford/Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock)

McConaughey described the acting break as “scary”, and said he considered teaching high school or becoming a wildlife guide as he “stepped out of Hollywood” and had “got out of my lane”.

He described this “lane” as the one “hollywood said I should stay in, and Hollywood’s like, ‘‘Well, f*** you, dude., ou should have stayed in your lane. Later.’”

He said that, during his acting break, the days were “long” due to “the sense of insignificance”.

“But I made up my mind that that’s what I needed to do, so I wasn’t going to pull the parachute and quit the mission I was on,” he continued. |But it was scary, because I didn’t know if I was ever going to get out of the desert.”

However, McConaughey secured a series of more secure roles, which led to what was branded by film critic Mark Kermode as the McConaissance: in 2011, the actor returned to the fold with The Lincoln Lawyer.

Matthew McConaughey successfully turned his career around in the 2010s (Getty Images)
Matthew McConaughey successfully turned his career around in the 2010s (Getty Images)

In the next three years, he starred in William Friedkin’s Killer Joe, Richard Linklater’s Bernie, Jeff Nichols’s Mud and Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike.

The actor also won an Oscar for Best Actor with his performance in Dallas Buyers Club, along with acclaim for his lead role in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.

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