Matthew McConaughey didn't think twice to reject $15 million role for Dallas Buyers Club

Darcy Rafter October 17, 2022
Matthew McConaughey didn't think twice to reject $15 million role for Dallas Buyers Club
Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images for Wild Turkey

Matthew McConaughey was certainly not in Dallas Buyers Club for the money, in fact, he turned down a seven-figure paycheque to take on the character of Ron Woodroof.

McConaughey’s last movie in the rom-com genre was 2009’s Ghosts of Girlfriend’s past. Since then he has paved the way with true blockbuster hits, most notably playing Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club, and Mark Hanna in Wolf Of Wall Street. This was followed by a role in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.

The actor lost almost 3st 7lb (47lb) in 2013 to portray Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club, who is a character diagnosed with HIV, writes LadBible. Fans were so impressed with his commitment to the role that his performance went on to earn him his first-ever Academy Award for Best Actor.

Reflecting on his 2013 film and rejecting a $15 million offer in its favor, it appears Matthew McConaughey had a game plan all along…

Matthew McConaughey rejected $15 million for Dallas Buyers Club role

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Gentlemen star was offered the part of Woodroof in 2010 and with an upfront fee of around $200,000, according to sources cited by The Hollywood Reporter. Whilst this is a large sum of money, it is not particularly high paying for the actor’s resume.

McConaughey turned down the opportunity to star in Universal’s version of Magnum, PI for $15 million as per The Independent. This may sound like a tempting offer that is too good to turn down, but McConaughey refused it in order to do Dallas Buyers Club.

McConaughey told The Hollywood Reporter: “Taking a year and a half off and saying no to things in some form or fashion made me a new good idea. Sometimes the target draws the arrow.”

This is not the first time the actor has rejected a big paycheck.

McConaughey previously turned down a rom-com film with a salary of $14.5 million in 2010, as per IndieWire. Whilst the star didn’t reveal the name of the film he turned down, he explained he said no because “If I couldn’t do what I wanted, I wasn’t going to do what I didn’t, no matter the price.”

How becoming a dad changed the star

Turning down a priceless offer like this doesn’t come without having second thoughts.

McConaughey admits there were a few moments when he questioned whether he had made the right decision turning down Magnum. However, the birth of his first son, Levi, made him realize that he had done it for the right reasons.

Dallas Buyers Club producer Robbie Brenner revealed he made a “very conscious decision” to change his career path.

Brenner explained: “When you become a parent when you have more life experience, you want to put an indelible mark on the world.

“That is ultimately what Matthew is doing. He’s choosing great directors to work with and creating an amazing filmography for himself.”

McConaughey’s battle against the rom-com genre

Photo by DISCIULLO/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Matthew told Tim McGraw on his Beyond the Influence Radio podcast on Apple Music Country, why he wanted to stray away from being “the go-to guy at romcoms.” The Wolf Of Wall Street star made the decision because he wanted to “be scared” by a project rather than settling for another romantic comedy, a genre he felt safe in.

The actor spoke of rejecting the $14.5 million romantic comedy film and revealed he had multiple offers.

“They started at an $8m offer,” he explained. “I said no. They [went to] $10m. I say no. They go to $12.5, I said, ‘No, thank you.’”

“They go to $14.5, I said, ‘Let me read that script again.'” he jested.

However, even at $14.5 million, “it was the same words as the $8 million offer”. He believes that when he said no to that, producers across the scope knew he was determined to stray away from the rom-com genre. Matthew explained it as an “invisible lightning bolt went across Hollywood and they go, ‘Oh, McConaughey is not bluffing. He ain’t kidding.’”

For support and information on HIV or AIDS, please visit Terrence Higgins Trust, Positively UK or National AIDS Trust.

For those in the USA, you can also call The Body’s 24-Hour HIV Hotline or visit the CDC. There is also a list of State HIV/AIDS hotlines and resources here.

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Darcy is an experienced journalist working on GRV Media’s audience team across The Focus, Reality Titbit, and HITC. Darcy studied Media and Communications at Goldsmiths University and whilst there she completed a work internship with GRV Media. After gaining a first-class BA (Hons) degree, Darcy joined the team full-time. Since then she has become a social media specialist and her expertise lies in tracking trends. With five years of experience in media, she is particularly passionate about celebrity culture and entertainment. When she’s not writing about The Kardashians, she’s binge-watching it!