The How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days actor has revealed why he stopped doing rom-coms from 2010 even when offered the big bucks

Matthew McConaughey once turned down $14.5 million film offer after making eye-opening realization about his career

Matthew McConaughey once turned down a staggering $14.5 million film offer and there’s a significant reason why.

In more recent years, you probably remember McConaughey for his intricate and grittier characters in hits such as Wolf of Wall Street, The Gentlemen and True Detective.

However, there was a time before some of his more intense roles where he took on characters which offered viewers much more of a light-relief.

Throughout his career, the 54-year-old has also taken on many a role in the rom-com genre – think Failure to Launch, Fool’s Gold, Ghost of Girlfriends Past, How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days and The Wedding Planner.

And in his 2020 memoir Greenlights, the actor explained the romantic comedies ‘remained [his] only consistent box office hits’ by the year 2010, and subsequently his ‘only consistent incoming offers’.

He reflected: “For me personally, I enjoyed being able to give people a nitty-minute breezy romantic getaway from the stress of their lives where they didn’t have to think about anything, just watch the boy chase the girl, fall down, then get up and finally get her.

“I had taken the baton from Hugh Grant, and I ran with it.”

However, in 2010, despite ‘enjoy[ing]’ making rom-coms of which the ‘pay cheques rented the houses on the beach [he] ran shirtless on’, McConaughey told Gary Vee – in a clip posted to Vee’s TikTok back in 2022 – he realised if being seen as a rom-com actor was stopping him taking on other roles he wanted to, he’d have to ‘quit’ the genre completely.
Matthew McConaughey has starred in many a rom-com during his career, including How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days. (Paramount Pictures)


Matthew McConaughey has starred in many a rom-com during his career, including How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days. (Paramount Pictures)

He called his agent and said he was ‘not doing those anymore’ – sticking to his decision even when offered a jaw-dropping amount.

After making the call, McConaughey said he didn’t get any offers to work for ’20 months’ and was even left questioning if he should change careers.

Six months into the ‘sabatical’ in 2010 however, the actor revealed he was offered an initial hefty $8 million to take part in a rom-com film.

When he declined, the offer was raised to $10 million, later $12.5 million, and finally McConaughey was then offered a whopping $14.5 million paycheque.

The actor starred in the hard-hitting Dallas Buyers Club in 2013. (Truth Entertainment)
The actor starred in the hard-hitting Dallas Buyers Club in 2013. (Truth Entertainment)

He joked he did re-read the script and it was ‘better written’ but ultimately in his book notes he ‘declined the offer’ – not revealing what movie it was, but just that it didn’t actually get made in the end.

The actor resolved: “If I couldn’t do what I wanted, I wasn’t going to do what I didn’t, no matter the price.”

From 2010, McConaughey went on to star in films such as 2012 thriller adventure Mud, 2013 hard-hitting biographical drama Dallas Buyers Club and 2014’s hair-raising Interstellar, but also more light-hearted movies such as 2021 animation Sing 2.

So the decision certainly didn’t leave him jobless for long.

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