To be honest, I kind of always wondered why Matthew McConaughey did Magic Mike (not that I was complaining). Sure, he made guest appearances on Eastbound & Down, but that's because E&D was fucking fantastic and Kenny Powers was an absolute legend.
That was a classic no-brainer: you take a guest role if it involves working alongside La Flama Blanca.
But why take a tiny role in a male stripper movie when you're the biggest name on the ticket and you happen to be a successful leading man? Why do it as you were trying to change your image from that of a rom-com heartthrob to a serious, Oscar-worthy actor? Especially when Magic Mike would fall smack in the middle of performances in movies designed to get you there: The Paperboy, Mud, and The Dallas Buyers Club? Why strip then? (Again, not complaining, just curious.)
"I got a call from Steven Soderbergh; Steven Soderbergh had never called before. I was really excited about that and excited to be working with him as a director in whatever material that he was going to be behind the camera on.
He was like, 'I've got this guy and he runs this strip club. He's got these guys and, you know, he used to be a stripper himself. He still does a little bit of it, but mainly he sort of just runs the club.'
And I was so excited about the opportunity. If you're gonna go play a male stripper, do it with Steven Soderbergh - it's gonna have a cool comedy and edge to it. And I remember saying to him, 'Hey I know you haven't sent me the script yet, but you gotta give me one line, give me something to hang up this phone and walk away from this conversation, before I get the script, that I can just be thinking about in my imagination.'
And he goes, 'Well... this character Dallas that I want you for... he's pretty connected to the UFOs, man.'
And I was like, that's when I set flight. I mean, talk about a launchpad piece of direction. That is a ruthless, limitless, take it to astrologic, go cosmo on this guy. And so he immediately, with that one line, let me know to take and fly - the roof is off.
And I did with Dallas. I miss Dallas.
WHAT?!! McConaughey thought the character was much deeper than just some older guy organizing a nudie show of young guns… because he was connected to UFOs? That led him to believe he would take the character to the next level? That somehow if his character had alien buddies he would be more than just a pretty face and a sexy body?
More importantly, he thinks he did that with Dallas?
I said here's this great capitalist who is running the show, producing the show, running the show at whatever cost to get as many greenbacks out of those purses in the audience that are watching the male dancers as possible, to get as many greenbacks as we can. And he was a great character.
I'll be honest, "capitalist" was not a word I would have ever associated with Dallas, but then again, I've only seen the movie once. Now that I've heard the depth of work Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey put into the UFO-lover, I'm going to have to reevaluate my initial impressions. Maybe Dallas is more than just a ringleader and I was too much of a simpleton to understand that?
After all, sometimes it takes multiple viewings to fully comprehend and appreciate a character's complexity.
I miss Dallas. Yeah.
We miss him too.