Matthew McConaughey was a king of the romantic-comedy genre in the early 2000s, and it turns out it’s all thanks to a fortune teller. The Oscar winner already had one rom-com hit under his belt with 2001’s “The Wedding Planner” when the offer to star opposite Kate Hudson in “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” came along. Did McConaughey really want to dive right into another rom-com?
“I remember considering whether I was going to do it or not one night while on a walk down Sunset Blvd.,” McConaughey told Vanity Fair as part of a new “How to Lose a Guy” oral history. “Suddenly, this guy comes up out of nowhere to me — he was a fortune teller guru [and] goes, ‘Can I tell you your fortune real quick?’” McConaughey said. “I was like, ‘Yeah, man. Sure.’”
“He immediately goes, ‘There’s a movie you’re considering right now. It’s a romantic comedy. You have to do this or it will be one of the biggest regrets of your life. It is going to be a blast, it is going to be an incredible experience and it is going to make a bunch of money,’” McConaughey remembered. “I remember thinking, ‘Did the studio hire this guy?’ I laughed at the thought, but I also remember taking a more serious consideration. I think I even accepted the offer the next day.”
“How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” made rom-com icons out of McConaughey and Hudson in 2003, and the film grossed $177 million worldwide on a budget of $50 million. McConaughey continued to stick with the genre in 2006’s “Failure to Launch,” 2008’s “Fool’s Gold” and 2009’s “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.” Nearly all of these rom-coms grossed over $100 million at the worldwide box office.
McConaughey revealed in his 2020 memoir “Greenlights” that rom-coms were the only films he was getting offers for come the turn of the decade. He made a deliberate choice to stop acting in the genre, which is how the “McConaissance” was partly born. Deep into his run of films such as “Bernie,” “Mud” and “Dallas Buyers Club,” McConaughey got a $14.5 million offer to return to the rom-com genre.
“I declined the offer,” McConaughey wrote in his book. “If I couldn’t do what I wanted, I wasn’t going to do what I didn’t, no matter the price.”
While rom-coms have recently won big at the box office, from Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum’s “The Lost City” to George Clooney and Julia Roberts’ “Ticket to Paradise,” McConaughey still has no announced plans to return to the genre.