Matthew McConaughey spent years grinning his was through films as a romantic or romantic/comic lead. Then came Dallas Buyers Club. McConaughey proved that he had come to play with the big boys. Then came True Detective. McConaughey closed out any doubt that he could deliver the goods.
Now there’s Interstellar. If the chatter is to be believed on that, there’s no looking back for McConaughey.
But it sounds like he is just as tough a guy off-screen as on. McConaughey stopped by The Graham Norton Show this weekend with Interstellar co-star Anne Hathaway, and Girls star Lena Dunham. While there, he recounted a story from five years ago that made the ladies squeal.
McConaughey was on vacation at the Grand Canyon with then-girlfriend, now-wife Camila Alves. They had their dog B.J. and son Levi, who was less than a year old, with them. On a hiking outing, McConaughey found himself cornered in the wild with his baby in his arms.
He told the story, animatedly up and down off Norton’s couch next to Hathaway and Dunham.
"I turn to look up and right about where Lena is, there's a huge mountain ram, just with these horns that curled all the way around. He was probably, I don’t know, 400 pounds,” McConaughey said. "He's looking at me, well looking at my dog really, who's growling and so I say, 'Okay so this is not a good idea. B.J. you're out of here' And I've got to throw B.J. over the ten foot cliff down below."
The dog is fine, but that takes what McConaughey thought was the biggest source of antagonism for the ram out of the picture. But the beast is still mad.
“My wife has now jetted over there [at the bottom of the cliff below] and I’ve got my son Levi and [the ram] is not happy that we’re there. I mean the foot is stomping, he's blowing up dust, lowering his head, snorting," he described.
“Camila gets about where you are, and I’ve got Levi and I had to go [indicating throwing the baby] down the edge of the cliff and she has to catch him.”
Dunham blurted out in shocked disbelief, “You did not!”
“I had to,” McConaughey insisted. “Into his mother’s arms.”
"It seemed like about an hour, it was long enough for me to break a sweat and know that I was sweating and I had to calm the situation down," he said.
Finally, the ram routed around McConaughey and moved on. The actor said he soon realized that he had unwittingly come between the ram and “his harem” of females.
“I hadn’t showered in about three days,” he explained. Maybe the ram couldn’t handle that much McConaughey in his territory.
McConaughey is slated to star as a confederate leader who deserted during the Civil War, fell in love with a former slave, and started his own free territory in Mississippi. The film is called The Free State of Jones.