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Matthew McConaughey Can't Stand False Drama Or the Word "Unbelievable"

In Matthew McConaughey's household growing up, "stocking stuffers" meant Q-tips, cotton balls, and nail clippers. His dad, attracted to "shady deals," invested in diamond mines and stolen Rolex watches. Here, the actor, who stars in this season's critically acclaimed film 'Gold,' recounts his eccentric childhood, from his fleeting interest in skateboards to his first kiss, and the father who informed his 'Gold' character.

Released on 1/31/2017

Transcript

00:03
I got Rick Gilder's, one of the three scripts that I read
00:07
that immediately when I read the character
00:09
I was like I gotta play this guy.
00:10
I don't think anyone else can do this.
00:12
The only other two that were like that were
00:13
Magic Mike and Dazed and Confused
00:16
and this one, Gold.
00:17
This was an impression of my Dad
00:19
but also the people that he worked with
00:21
back in the 80s.
00:22
My Dad loved shady deals.
00:24
Much rather do a shady deal
00:26
with some fun people than do a good deal
00:28
with a bunch of straight asses.
00:30
He did these things.
00:31
He would invest in diamond mines in Ecuador.
00:33
Has his shot with the machete coming out of the jungle.
00:36
(laughing)
00:37
There were no fucking diamonds there.
00:39
It was a scam.
00:39
I'm about 16 years old.
00:42
We're in southwest Houston.
00:43
My dad says let's go get some stocking stuffers.
00:46
Which means, we're gonna go to K-Mart,
00:47
and get a bunch of nail clippers and Q-tips and stuff.
00:49
Stocking stuffings are big in the McConaughey household,
00:52
whether it's cotton balls to nail clippers to whatever.
00:56
He and I, it's raining, sleety, gray afternoon.
00:59
He pulls off the highway about eight exits before the K-Mart
01:03
we were heading to,
01:04
and he pulls into this abandoned single-story strip mall,
01:07
broken glass, graffiti.
01:09
We pull around back, there's dumpsters,
01:11
hanging, fallen power lines,
01:13
and there's a white van down there
01:14
that flashes its lights at us as soon as we arrive.
01:17
This is Chicago John.
01:18
We pull up the car next to him.
01:20
He leaves it running,
01:21
he goes, stay here,
01:22
he gets out.
01:23
I look out the window,
01:24
and this little guy gets out of the van.
01:25
He's in a black leather jacket.
01:27
He's bald, he's got a big pouch,
01:28
and he goes around the back of his van and opens it up,
01:31
and there's like a fucking washing machine, dish sink.
01:34
Opens up a shoebox and pulls something out
01:36
that's wrapped up in a bunch of paper towels.
01:38
He walks around to the open door in this passenger van,
01:42
backs into it, and my dad's facing him.
01:45
So now, my dad's back is to me, right.
01:47
The guy opens whatever he opens,
01:48
and this is what I see my dad's shoulders do,
01:51
I see him go
01:51
Oh, goddammit,
01:53
and he reaches in, pulls out his wallet,
01:55
and I see this motion,
01:56
which is counting off Benjamin Franklins
01:58
for whatever's wrapped up in these paper towels.
02:01
He gets it.
02:03
He gets back in the car and he goes,
02:05
put it in the glovebox, buddy.
02:06
I don't know what it is.
02:08
Is it a ferret?
02:09
I don't know what the fuck it is.
02:10
I put it in the glovebox,
02:11
we drive, he doesn't say a word for about five minutes.
02:15
I'm sitting there what the hell is in the glovebox?
02:17
And he goes open up the glovebox, buddy,
02:18
make sure it's still there.
02:21
I open this thing up, I grab it.
02:22
And he goes, oh, goddamn, son,
02:25
that's a $22,000 titanium Rolex,
02:28
and I just got it for three grand, goddamn.
02:31
That Rolex wasn't worth 500 bucks.
02:33
It was a hot ass watch,
02:35
but that's the thing,
02:36
my dad loved to deal like that.
02:38
My father and the people that I met
02:40
that were around him
02:41
had that insatiable appetite for life.
02:43
It was yes, yes.
02:45
My dad's thing in the morning,
02:46
he would get out of bed,
02:47
you know, throw his legs over the side and be like,
02:50
today's gonna be the day, buddy,
02:52
Gonna hit a lick.
02:53
That was his line.
02:53
I'm gonna hit a lick.
02:54
It means like, I'm gonna get the big sell.
02:56
These are people that never had
02:58
the front-door entrance to the American dream.
03:00
They were going to con, finagle, and hood-scoop their way
03:02
into the side door to get it.
03:04
For the film though, getting up to speed,
03:05
my nickname was Captain Fun
03:07
because I was yes to everything.
03:09
Pizza night was four nights a week.
03:10
Milkshakes for breakfast were a great idea.
03:12
You want a beer? Yeah.
03:14
It was 10 a.m., sure.
03:15
Mom had great stuff in the morning.
03:17
If you were not showing gratitude
03:18
for the fact that you had a bed to sleep in
03:20
and you got to come have breakfast
03:22
even if that breakfast was the damn Brussels sprouts
03:24
from last night.
03:25
If you didn't show some gratitude,
03:27
she'd slap the table and send you back to your room,
03:29
and on the way, you're walking back to your room,
03:31
don't come back in this kitchen to eat breakfast
03:33
until you're ready to see the rose in the vase
03:35
instead of the dust on the table.
03:37
Dad's deal was don't lie and don't say can't.
03:41
I nearly got my first ass whoopin' for saying I can't.
03:43
He died six days into my first acting job
03:46
on Dazed and Confused,
03:47
which I've always thought,
03:48
there's a bit of serendipity to that
03:50
because everything before that with me
03:52
when I talked him into, you know,
03:54
18, talking him into getting me the skateboard,
03:56
and the knee pads, and the helmet,
03:58
and he didn't want to.
03:59
I'm like, no, Dad, I'm really going to do this.
04:01
Everything before acting was a fad.
04:03
He didn't really get to see me do it,
04:05
but he was alive for the first six days
04:07
of me doing what ended up being a career.
04:09
My pet peeve?
04:10
I mean I got a few.
04:11
I don't like how people throw around
04:14
the word, unbelievable.
04:15
They say it all the time.
04:16
I'm like, what's, and it's usually about people.
04:18
Especially when it's coming to the human animal,
04:20
why would you say it's unbelievable?
04:22
The one thing you can trust people being
04:24
and it's people.
04:25
Another thing, my pet peeve is false drama.
04:27
I don't have much patience for false drama
04:29
because the real drama does come
04:31
someone does actually get sick.
04:33
Somebody does actually die.
04:35
We do have real things to be thankful for,
04:37
and I sure don't like to create false drama.
04:40
No one in our family does,
04:41
we just won't allow it.
04:43
I mean that was my hope
04:44
that I was going get kissed
04:46
when we went for the walk on
04:47
the nature trail.
04:48
She had braces.
04:49
Lips did get stuck for a second,
04:51
but it was worth it.
04:53
13 or 14 in her jort-ass jeans, yeah.
04:57
Yeah, I had a crush for a while.
04:59
I was cool about it.
05:00
I walked, and we were walking
05:01
on a nice little nature trail,
05:03
but I was already anxious and nervous
05:05
looking for the right moment to stop
05:06
and go in for a kiss, a French kiss,
05:10
big time, man, remember that?
05:13
I was high as a kite for six months.
05:16
Walking up, my Momma was like
05:17
what are you walkin' on your toes for?
05:19
(sighing) Yes!