Fool's Gold - Matthew McConaughey interview
Interview by Rob Carnevale
MATTHEW McConaughey talks about performing some of his own stunts and acting underwater in romantic comedy-adventure Fool’s Gold and being reunited with Kate Hudson for the first time since How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days.
He also discusses his impending fatherhood, why he hopes to be able to balance paternal responsibility with career, and his own personal obsessions and love of travelling.
Q. Was doing the action sequences part of the appeal of doing Fool’s Gold? Did you enjoy doing them?
Matthew McConaughey: Yeah, I did. Also, this isn’t one of those films where I get to be the white knight in shining armour and win the fights, I’m actually the screw up who gets my butt kicked a lot and happens to get the gold and the girl in the end. It was fun.
Q. How easy is it to act under the water?
Matthew McConaughey: What you have to do is see the gold, and then see the picture of you and your wife and you love it, but it makes you sad and the only thing that you’re acting with is your eyes – and they’re through a mask! So, you can get mixed messages. But we learned that you just have to choreograph the scenes so thoroughly before you go down because if you do screw up, you might not get a second chance. So you have to go down, take your time, trust your gear, and then trust all those people behind the camera that you never see that are sitting there with all the safety precautions. Then you can relax and hope it goes okay.
Q. Your character is obsessive in the film. What obsessions do you have in your own life?
Matthew McConaughey: How much time do we have? I’m really obsessed with linguistics, in a different sense here. I’m obsessed with communicating – whether it’s trying to get something across now or communicating with a director, or whether it’s going and travelling in different countries where they don’t speak a bit of the language and you end up using sign language. You end up finding out that you’re all speaking the same language but with different vocabularies. I love getting through that. I get more frustrated if I cannot communicate. That frustrates me more than anything. I’m obsessed with trying to understand what somebody is talking about and trying to get them to understand me.
Q. You’re on the record for saying Kate can be a pain in the ass. Is that still true?
Matthew McConaughey: [Laughs] She can be a pain in the ass. You know that dinner party we all go to that Andy [the director] was talking about, that’s sort of works for Kate and I. We like to sit next to each other and it’s like: “Hey, can I try a bit of your fruit?” “Sure, isn’t this great, I’ll have a cocktail…” But at a six-month dinner party one of us has to get up from the dinner table because we can’t stand the conversation that’s going on. One of us may move to the other side of the table, one of us may break a plate and one of us may leave and say: “I’ll be back at the dinner table next week, because I don’t feel like sitting next to you right now.” And then we kiss and make up and we’re fine, sharing off of each other’s plate. We’re a pain in each other’s ass but that’s a part of what works, I think, seeing us on screen in our relationship in real life. She said before: “We love each other but we don’t like each other the whole time.” And it’s still true. We fight well, and we flirt well.
Q. How do you feel about impending fatherhood and has Kate offered any parenting tips?
Matthew McConaughey: I’m excited! We’re six months into it, and everything’s healthy so far. We don’t know if it’s going to be a boy or a girl, and we’ll find out the day that he or she greets the day. But I’m excited. It’s going to be a new chapter.
Q. Will it be difficult balancing fatherhood with your career?
Matthew McConaughey: For me, five years ago when I thought about having a child and a family I thought I didn’t want to do it and live in Hollywood, or I don’t want to do it and be doing what I’m doing – acting. Then I said I could go back to Texas, hole up there and do something else. But I’ve completely turned that around. The best education I’ve had in my life is to travel and that’s what we get to do in this job. My kid’s going to travel, and I’ve got a goal to fill that passport pretty early in his or her life. That’ll be it’s own challenge, but that’s going to be fun. I want to bring my kid to the set, to the locations that I go to. Some of the greatest people that I’ve met in my life, the most creative people I’ve met, are in this circus, this carnival of people who get together and go and make a movie.
Q. Which of your qualities would you like your child to inherit, and which not?
Matthew McConaughey: Let’s see, I’m a pretty loyal guy with friends and family, I’ve had the same friends for a long time. That’s a good quality I hope the kid will have. I guess the other things are how much do you decipher between what’s just DNA and what’s the culture and environment they’re going to be raised in. The way I was raised, the one thing we knew no matter what was that Mom and Dad loved us. That made it easy for us to adapt even when you’re getting your butt whupped or you’re getting in trouble. It was the old: “I love you but I don’t like you right now.” so you always knew you had that.
There was respect, there was respect for elders, and there was no such word as ‘C-A-N’-T’. It was: “I beg your pardon? Did you say you were having trouble?” [Nods his head] “Yes sir, that’s what I said.” You could maybe get away with saying a cuss word, but the day I came home after hearing the word “hate” at school, and told my brother: “I hate you!” Well, time stopped. My Mom said: “You said WHAT!” That was a good butt whupping [for me]. As for the things I don’t want them to have, that I have? Whoa. I hope he’s not as selfish as I am. But you know what, there are going to probably be some things that I’ll learn about myself at the same time. The one thing that will be the bane of my existence with my kid will probably be the way he or she is most like me in some ways.
Q. Will you be doing the Magnum movie?
Matthew McConaughey: I don’t know yet [smiles].
Q. But you’ve been offered it though?
Matthew McConaughey: I believe so, yes.