Belfast Telegraph

Matthew McConaughey suffered anxiety after quitting romantic comedies

The actor became famous for playing the typical lothario in various romantic comedies, including How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days.

Matthew McConaughey entered a period of turmoil after quitting rom-coms to focus on more serious Hollywood roles.

The 47-year-old Texan won the hearts of women around the world with movies such as 2003's How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, opposite Kate Hudson, and Failure to Launch in 2006 with Sarah Jessica Parker.

However, McConaughey admits that quitting the lucrative money-making movies was hard.

"You know the story," he told The Guardian. "Boy meets girl, we break up in the middle, boy chases her down at the end and meets her on a bridge or a moped.

"That same script, same words, with a $5 million (£3.9 million) offer, is so much better written than the one with the $1 million (£790,000) offer."

After the release of Ghosts of Girlfriends Past in 2009, he got the go-ahead from his wife Camila Alves and subsequently told his agent and managers he wouldn't be working for a while.

"So the anxiety was, well, how long is nothing going to come in? Having a family helps, but I feel like I always need to be accomplishing something, for my own happiness and significance. I gotta work. The anxiety was in how long will it be dry, how long will we get nothing?" he said, confessing it was hard to refuse work.

"My agent did a good job saying no, no, no. Then the studios got the message and quit sending them. Then there was an impasse of nothing. And there was nothing for about eight months."

The actor recalled he was in turmoil while waiting for the right role, but he had one motto to keep him going. "F**k the bucks - I'm going for the experience," he laughed.

The father-of-three's patience eventually paid off, and he began landing roles in low-budget films including Killer Joe in 2011, and Magic Mike in 2012, alongside Channing Tatum.

By 2013, McConaughey had transformed himself into AIDS activist Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club, and won an Oscar for his efforts in 2014.

However, he said he put in as much effort preparing for his award-winning role as he did for his characters in the rom-coms, and even enjoyed losing a frightening amount of weight to portray the AIDS activist.

"(I felt) on fricking fire. All the power I lost in my body got sublimated up here (his brain). I needed three hours less sleep a night. Almost clinically sharp. Kind of hard to be around," he shared.

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