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The Improvised Matthew McConaughey Line That Changed Dazed And Confused Forever

Simple as it may be, a quote can define a person's career. Arnold Schwarzenegger walked out of a police station one time, promising he'd be back, Samuel L. Jackson dropped a few F-bombs and continued to do so in any film that didn't have Marvel at the front of it, and Renee Zellweger had us at hello. In the case of all-around dude Matthew McConaughey, though, there's one line that has stuck with the Oscar winner ever since he said it in 1993.

You, of course, know the one. It's less of a line and more of an assurance, an approval McConaughey has said at public events and even squeezed into his own winning speech at the Academy Awards. But like so many cinematic gems that actors carved from their performances and unintentionally immortalized, it's one that was born right there and then and not from the initial script. What's extra special about this spontaneous moment, however, is that it was said by a soon-to-be star that shouldn't have even been there in the first place.

McConaughey was in the alright place at the alright time for Dazed and Confused

The story goes (as told by McConaughey on "Saturday Night Live" via The Independent) that the actor who'd go on to be of an award-winning caliber hadn't even considered the future he'd inevitably find himself in. After speaking to the producer of "Dazed and Confused" at a bar one night, he found himself eventually cast in the role that would make him a star.

When it came to the iconic "alright, alright, alright," McConaughey was inspired to bring something unique for the now cult classic. Nervous on filming his first scene, he tried to figure out the sort of person his character, David Wooderson, was. "Who is my man? You know, what's he about?' And I tell myself, 'Wooderson's about four things: he's about cars, weed, rock 'n' roll, and chicks.'" From here, the magic moment quickly came into play, all on the count of three.

"Well I'm in my '70s Chevelle. That's one," he explained. "I've got Slater riding shotgun, so I'm definitely getting high, that's two. And we've got Ted Nugent playing 'Stranglehold' on the eight-track, well that's three.'" From there, the stars aligned. "At this point I hear over the intercom, 'Action!' And I look up across the drive-through at this red-headed intellectual and I say to myself, 'Buddy, you got three out of four. Alright, alright, alright!'" 

For "Dazed and Confused," it was a highlight and a moment of perfect clarity for McConaughey. He has, however, admitted to taking inspiration from other sources for the iconic line, telling Canadian talk show host George Stroumboulopoulos in 2011 (via Rolling Stone) that he was inspired by Doors frontman Jim Morrison's stage banter, where he would say four "alright's" while talking to fans in between songs.