What Richard Linklater has to say about Matthew McConaughey -- Years after ''Dazed and Confused'' the director still loves his star

By EW Staff
Updated June 09, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

There’s just something about Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused [which recently received the Criterion Collection treatment on DVD] that’s never left him. When he came in to audition for the part of Wooderson, Matthew was like this good-looking, clean-cut guy, kind of a frat boy. The first thing he said to me was ”Listen, man. I’m not this guy, but I know this guy. I grew up in Longview, Texas, and I know this guy.” We both had this hint of recognition like ”Oh, yeah.” And Wooderson had such a great line: ”It’d be a lot cooler if you did.” I got that from a guy in Montana, he was like this stoner guy, and that’s just the way he’d say it. Later on, Matthew told me that he modeled his performance off of one of his older brothers. Sort of. Not who he really was, but who he thought he was: a guy who’s got it all figured out. Matthew dug into some kind of personal reservoir in himself for that part. I saw him transform right in front of my eyes.