“That three affirmations that things are going well. You’ve got three things and you’re about to get the fourth and everything is ‘alright, alright, alright’.”
That’s how McConaughey described his most iconic screen utterance to Graham Norton in 2014. His first words on film in the 1993 cult hit Dazed And Confused capture the appeal of the star perfectly.
Video essayist Leigh Singer (www.leighsinger.com) has taken a look back for The Culture Trip at the career highs of the actor, including his spectacular Oscar-winning turn as gaunt, free-wheeling cowboy Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club.
In Free State of Jones, his latest film, McConaughey plays Southern farmer Newt Knight who rebels against the Confederate State Army during the final days of the American Civil War. Joining forces with a group of slaves and runaways, Knight holds off the vast forces amassing against him whilst trying to maintain a family life of his own.
Other notable roles in the period affectionately known as the ‘McConaissance’ (his recent high-profile series of films that have been both critical and commercial successes) include a sleazy turn as know-it-all banker Mark Hanna in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street and as a space-travelling father desperate to save his daughter in Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi epic Interstellar.
Earlier in his career, McConaughey starred opposite some of Hollywood’s most famous women in a string of roles that highlighted his flirtatious persona. In A Time to Kill, the 1996 film that shot him to fame, he sizzled with Sandra Bullock. With How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days he proved he could mix it with the best of them in the difficult romantic-comedy genre, and he got an early taste of sci-fi in Contact with Jodie Foster.
So, as Dallas in Magic Mike would say, ‘just sit back and enjoy the show’.
Free State of Jones is out now in cinemas