Matthew McConaughey almost quit Hollywood as he sought change from rom-coms

Matthew McConaughey has said he almost quit Hollywood over the pressures of being typecast in rom-com roles.

The 54-year-old actor told Interview magazine he felt a “sense of insignificance” when being asked to continuously star in films such as The Wedding Planner, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days and Failure To Launch.

He said this led to discussions with his wife about “finding a new vocation”, where he considered becoming a teacher, a conductor or a wildlife guide.

McConaughey got his break in Hollywood with a supporting role in 1993’s Dazed And Confused, before he shot to fame in starring roles in the likes of Interstellar, Dallas Buyers Club and Magic Mike.

But the actor said his career became “scary” when Hollywood bosses began to continuously ask him to perform in similar roles.

He said: “I’ve usually zigged when I felt like Hollywood wanted me to zag. When I had my rom-com years, there was only so much bandwidth I could give to those, and those were some solid hits for me. But I wanted to try some other stuff. Of course I wasn’t getting it, so I had to leave Hollywood for two years.

“I had long talks with my wife about needing to find a new vocation, ‘I think I’m going to teach high school classes. I think I’m going to study to be a conductor. I think I’m going to go be a wildlife guide’.

“I honestly thought, I stepped out of Hollywood. I got out of my lane, the lane Hollywood said I should stay in, and Hollywood’s like, ‘well f*** you, dude, you should have stayed in your lane’.

Matthew McConaughey on the Graham Norton Show in a black shirt
Matthew McConaughey said he considered a different career path because he was keen to try something new (Isabel Infantes/PA)

“The days are long, 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. But it was scary, because I didn’t know if I was ever going to get out of the desert.”

Despite becoming disillusioned with the film industry, McConaughey said he “never became cynical about playing my greatest hits”, but added he did not want to rely on them.

McConaughey was being interviewed by fellow American actor Glen Powell, who has starred in the likes of Top Gun: Maverick, Anyone But You and Hit Man.

During the conversation, Powell said he was also concerned about not becoming “a derivative of myself” and added that if he did too much work, his life felt “like a press tour”.