Hollywood loves a story of reinvention, and few can top the one by
It wasn't long ago, of course, that McConaughey was more famous for his off-screen exploits than his film performances. Yet when the Oscar nominations were announced Thursday morning, there was McConaughey, a heralded lead actor nominee for his turn as homophobic
The moment capped an exceptional year for the 44-year-old actor. McConaughey has starred as a complicated loner in one of 2013's biggest specialty-film breakouts (
"Today doesn't feel like as much of a bow on everything because it all feels like a process," the typically gregarious actor said. "It's more about 'C'mon McConaughey, commit to nothing but the character and look at the results that can happen.'"
McConaughey said the all-at-once aspect wasn't exactly by design — after all, "Mud" at one time was slated to come out in 2012, "Wolf" looked for a while like it could get pushed to 2014 and "True Detective" was at one point slated for March. And "Dallas," well, it nearly didn't happen at all. The film itself took 20 years to reach the screen, its development trail littered with failed attempts from top stars such as
In that sense, the victory for McConaughey happened long before the names were read out at academy headquarters. "My vigor is more of a personal one with the 'Dallas Buyers Club' story and the reward of just getting it made," he said.
Still, the finished product and the accolades that come with it offer a new kind of validation. "We knew we had the potential but no guarantee," he said. "A lot of people make movies with the sole intent that it should a winter-ball awards film, and that doesn't mean there's either import or entertainment value."
After his crowd-winning Golden Globes appearance Sunday ("Alright, alright, alright") could he top it at the
McConaughey 2.0 also means viewers will see him in different guises. He recently finished shooting, for example, the lead part in