i’m sure plenty of folks would say it’s purely because of all the shitty movies he’s done, but i think it’s more than that. within the ~film buff~ community especially, i think it’s an issue of status. how not only is matthew mcconaughey someone who’s done a lot of mediocre-to-outright-sucky movies, but also did a lot of very corporate mediocre-to-outright-sucky movies, making him the perfect person to scapegoat as a “sellout”, the antithesis of filmmaking or acting as artistic craft. and therefore the kind of actor that, as a cinephile you ~~should~~ hate.
which i think is why a lot of people find themselves almost resenting his recent career turnaround. because suddenly there’s this implicit pressure to acknowledge how heavily dependent talent recognition is on the opportunity to showcase that talent. was matthew mcconaughey a bad actor who suddenly became better, or was he a talented actor all along who was typecast and not afforded the opportunity to express that talent? (probably a little bit of the former and a lot of the latter, in my opinion).
a lot of film buffs (the pretentious ones who say the word “sellout” like it’s the worst thing you could possibly call someone, as if they wouldn’t put up with the minor embarrassment of starring in a meh movie if it meant a multi-million dollar paycheck) have a hard time appreciating the film industry as a business that artists must navigate in order to produce their art, and that the ultimate decider of artistic integrity is how much you’re willing to suffer or how much money you’re willing to turn down.
i also think there’s an even more basic sense of cynicism to it in that matthew mcconaughey is a very noticeably happy, relaxed person, and that it’s easy to develop contempt for someone like that. this is another element of pretentious artistic cynicism, that if someone is happy and healthy and laid back and generally just light-hearted as a person, then they must not be a real artist.
if you’re really rigid about what constitutes “good art” and “bad art”, then it’s difficult to reconcile the fact that great artists can sometimes produce really bad art. and further, that that’s okay.
and i don’t give a fuck if someone’s just not a matthew mcconaughey fan. what bothers me is when it crosses over from indifference to vitriol, when it’s like…literally saying “i fucking hate matthew mcconaughey”. why? because he wears baseball caps on late night television? because he gets a kick out of the “alright alright alright jokes”? because he’s done some stupid movies? is that seriously so offensive to you that you’re like…angry about it?
acting is a fucking job. it’s awesome if someone can spend most of their acting career producing truly memorable, influential, compelling art, but it’s still a fucking job. don’t try to make it into some kind of ethereal thing.
matthew mcconaughey just happens to be at a place in his career where he’s gained enough influence in the film community that he can start making the heavyweight decisions that he may or may not have been interested in making years ago.