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Matthew McConaughey Had To Quit Hollywood For 2 Years For One Important Reason

When Matthew McConaughey gained a new level of screen supremacy, the world didn't call it a comeback — they called it a McConaissance, in spite of the fact that he had taken a break from acting rather than experiencing trouble landing roles. His time away from Hollywood, with the benefit of hindsight, now seems essential in molding him into the superstar he is today.

Although he has spoken in the past about the real reason he stopped making romantic comedies, McConaughey's one-on-one conversation with Glen Powell for Interview revealed more details about that decision. The star explained that he reflected on how his Hollywood hiatus was so testing, saying, "I've usually zigged when I felt like Hollywood wanted me to zag. When I had my rom-com years, there was only so much bandwidth I could give to those, and those were some solid hits for me."

They may have been successful, but none of his rom-coms sit among the best Matthew McConaughey movies. Those acclaimed projects would be a long time coming, appearing after the actor addressed the itch he was desperate to scratch that the industry wouldn't allow him to explore — at least at first. "I wanted to try some other stuff," he said. "Of course I wasn't getting it, so I had to leave Hollywood for two years." It was a bold choice that could've been a career death sentence, but for the now 54-year-old, it was an opportunity to reevaluate that paid off massively.

McConaughey considered other careers before going back to acting

In his talk with Glen Powell, Matthew McConaughey acknowledged considering finding a job other than acting during the period when he stepped out of the film industry. "I had long talks with my wife about needing to find a new vocation. 'I think I'm going to teach high school classes,'" he said. "'I think I'm going to study to be a conductor. I think I'm going to go be a wildlife guide.'" During his self-imposed hiatus, McConaughey predicted that there was a point of no return for the career he was taking a break from. "I honestly thought, 'I stepped out of Hollywood. I got out of my lane.' The lane Hollywood said I should stay in, and Hollywood's like, 'Well, f**k you, dude. You should have stayed in your lane. Later.'"

Thankfully, that wasn't the case, and McConaughey's ride back to popularity gave us great turns like "Killer Joe," "Mud," "Magic Mike," and "The Dallas Buyers Club" back to back, with "True Detective" in between. But the period before it was clear that his risk paid off was a rough ride, the Oscar-winner acknowledges. "I made up my mind that that's what I needed to do, so I wasn't going to pull the parachute and quit the mission I was on. But it was scary, because I didn't know if I was ever going to get out of the desert." Now, with credits alongside the likes of Christopher Nolan and Martin Scorsese, and potentially joining "Yellowstone's" Sheridanverse, it certainly seems like a mission accomplished.