Belfast Telegraph

Matthew McConaughey cherishes innocence

Matthew McConaughey is pleased he still possesses a degree of “innocence”.

The actor portrays the filthy fugitive title character in his latest movie Mud. The man befriends two teenagers after they discover him living on an island claiming he's waiting for his true love.

Matthew can identify with certain aspects of his character's dreamy and otherworldly nature in the coming-of-age tale.

"I have a lot of innocence in me. They say as you grow older you grow wiser, you should know better, but there's some things that you know worse. Life teaches you some lessons that can creep in and break that dream a little bit," he reflected to Total Film magazine. "Pragmatism does that. But I still have that in me, I've always understood and always believed in that dream, and that innocence."

To embrace the role fully Matthew camped out for the duration of the 39-day shoot in Arkansas. He says the situation was perfectly suited to his laidback lifestyle.

"I loved being out there in nature like that. The stage was the Mississippi river. To live there for a while, to camp out there, you quickly get the rhythm and the sense of smell and taste and humidity and weight, and how time trickles along like that river," he smiled. "It's at 4mph, it just slowly moves and it's an unstoppable force."

Matthew has appeared in a string of female friendly rom-coms. To ensure he was convincing as the sun-baked and dirt-caked Mud, he underwent a full physical transformation. Matthew collaborated on Mud's look with director Jeff Nichols to make sure every last detail was authentic to the story line.

"Jeff had some very specific ideas," Matthew explained. "The tattoo is exactly the design of what he had drawn. The lucky shirt, and these pieces of superstition that were part of Mud's armour all had real meaning to him. The chipped tooth was something that Jeff and I worked on for a while. The wrinkles - the guy is sun-tarred and tethered and he hasn't had a shower in weeks, he's living on a deserted island on the run."

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