Matthew McConaughey shares why he quit rom-coms, turned down $14.5 million

Matthew McConaughey is opening up about his decision to stop starring in romantic comedies.

In an interview with AARP‘s magazine, the 51-year-old actor recalled the moment he quit rom-coms and Hollywood in an effort to pursue more serious, dramatic roles.

“I remember saying, ‘Eff the bucks, I’m going for the experience,’” McConaughey shared. “I was the go-to rom-com guy. I enjoyed making them, and they paid well. I was leading a successful life as an actor. But there’s a certain buoyancy built into rom-coms that isn’t about hanging your hat on humanity, like a drama is… I wanted to do work that reflected my personal vitality.”

“I went on a sabbatical away from Hollywood. I said no to every rom-com script that came my way. I turned down one for $14.5 million,” he added. “Word got around Hollywood I’d done that, and they said, ‘McConaughey’s not bluffing. Quit sending him romantic comedies!’”

It would take two years of seriously turning down offers before McConaughey reemerged on the scene in films like 2011’s The Lincoln Lawyer and 2013’s Dallas Buyer’s Club — the latter of which earned him a Best Actor Academy Award.

Now, the True Detective actor is looking at making another drastic change in his career.

“In my next chapter I’ll step into some sort of leadership position, but I don’t know what that is yet. Politics? Another book? A ministry? The crux of it is to help others,” he explained. “We’re coming out of a time of limbo and evolving, as people and as a nation. We’ve got to come together and have some sort of unity — I think everyone can agree we can use that.”

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