In 2014, when the first season of “True Detective” aired, Matthew McConaughey was just beginning to lose the weight that a decade of romantic comedies had put on his image.
As the most handsome slacker in American cinema, he reoriented the genre with films like 2006’s “Ready to Launch” (as a male child) or 2003’s “How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days” (as as advertising executive), and in turn, they redefine it. For all his promising work in the first decade of his career, starting with the 1994 teen movie classic “Dazed and Confused,” he had ended up being a mere repository of laid-back Southern charm and the face of a genre that was dying. That was about to change for him.
While the effortless humor McConaughey exhibited in romantic comedies would have made him a great fit for “True Detective” character Marty Hart, one can see in his role choices at the time an interest in something darker, or at least more serious. Something more like Rustin Cohle.
The Southern Gothic folktale vibes of Jeff Nichols’ 2012 film “Mud” made McConaughey a tragically romantic hero, and his showings in the original films “Magic Mike” and “Wolf of Wall Street” saw an evil energy behind every villain. funny line delivery. No performance in particular marked this new era for the actor. It was a sentiment generated by a number of timely choices that reminded viewers of her abilities, something that had in internet circles earned the name “the McConaissance”.
Shortly after his run on “True Detective,” in fact, he won the Best Actor Oscar for his role in “Dallas Buyers Club.”