How Matthew McConaughey Secretly Tricked Reporters Into Calling His Comeback the ‘McConaissance’

Matthew McConaughey had a big comeback beginning in 2011. He’d taken a few years off from making movies, and decided to stop doing romantic-comedies. The roles that landed him acclaim and success had a catchy name, The McConaissance. In a recent interview, McConaughey admitted he named his own comeback. 

McConaissance era Matthew McConaughey at White Boy Rick premiere
Matthew McConaughey | Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

McConaughey was a guest on the Literally! With Rob Lowe on Feb. 17 to promote his autobiography, Greenlights. He told Lowe how he got reporters to start talking about his McConaissance. 

What is McConaissance?

In 2011, McConaughey’s roles in The Lincoln Lawyer and Killer Joe came out. He continued to get more acclaim for The Paperboy, Mud, Magic Mike, Dallas Buyer’s Club and The Wolf of Wall Street. The kicker was the HBO series True Detective. McConaughey thought of McConaissance in 2013.

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“So we’re at Sundance,” McConaughey told Lowe. “I’m doing these interviews and people are saying, ‘Man, you’ve really been on quite a run. You’ve got Mud, Dallas Buyers Club is coming up.’ I’d done a few that had really kind of gotten above the water and was getting recognized for some roles. Stuff like ‘Man you’re really on a run here.’ I was thinking, in my head, musically, I was like yeah, I’m putting together an album, putting together a really nice album with music but the album needs a title.”

Matthew McConaughey knew he couldn’t name the McConaissance himself 

Going into interviews, McConaughey knew it would be be bad form to name his own comeback. If he offered the term McConaissance, it might sabotage the whole thing.

“In the next interview, I went and sat down with, and I’ve talked to the guy since, a guy with MTV,” McConaughey said. “”I said I’m going to try it right here, but I knew I couldn’t say I want to call it the McConaissance. They’d be like, ‘What are you talking about, you narcissistic blah blah blah?’” 

How the McConaissance caught on

McConaughey credited The Mcconaissance to someone else. That way, he still got his comeback name but downplayed it as someone else’s idea.

Matthew McConaughey at Sirius
Matthew McConaughey | Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

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So the guy starts going, ‘Hey, You know, you’ve really been on a run.’ I say, ‘You know what? The other guy I was talking to this morning was talking about the same thing. He actually coined it.’ The guy goes, ‘Oh, really?’ I go, ‘Yeah, he called it the McConaissance.’ The guy goes, ‘The McConaissance. That’s great. That’s great. Man, that might stick.’ I was like, ‘Right?’ He goes, ‘What do you think about it?’ I was like, ‘Kinda sounds fun to say, kinda rolls off the tongue, McConaissance, I don’t know. Kinda fun, kinda cool, sounds lyrical.’”

Matthew McConaughey, Literally! with Rob Lowe podcast, 2/17/21

Source: Literally! with Rob Lowe podcast