Movie Article

Third Person

What Richard Linklater has to say about Matthew McConaughey -- Years after ''Dazed and Confused'' the director still loves his star

There's just something about Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused [which recently received the Criterion Collection treatment on DVD] that's never left him. When he came in to audition for the part of Wooderson, Matthew was like this good-looking, clean-cut guy, kind of a frat boy. The first thing he said to me was ''Listen, man. I'm not this guy, but I know this guy. I grew up in Longview, Texas, and I know this guy.'' We both had this hint of recognition like ''Oh, yeah.'' And Wooderson had such a great line: ''It'd be a lot cooler if you did.'' I got that from a guy in Montana, he was like this stoner guy, and that's just the way he'd say it. Later on, Matthew told me that he modeled his performance off of one of his older brothers. Sort of. Not who he really was, but who he thought he was: a guy who's got it all figured out. Matthew dug into some kind of personal reservoir in himself for that part. I saw him transform right in front of my eyes.

Originally posted Jun 09, 2006 Published in issue #882 Jun 16, 2006 Order article reprints