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INTERVIEW

Matthew McConaughey and Me

An Afternoon TÊte-À-TÊte

By Allison C. Lewis
ARTS EDITOR

On Monday afternoon, I spoke on the phone with Matthew McConaughey, who stars alongside Kate Hudson in the new romantic comedy How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days. The actor has charm, a sexy Southern accent, and a just-one-of-the-guys personality.

He spoke about his new film, different from a typical romantic comedy. Both characters have a goal: Ben (Matthew McConaughey) is supposed to make Andy (Kate Hudson) fall in love with him; Andy’s supposed to get rid of Ben. “Men have been trying to figure out women since the beginning of time,” he says. “This is [a story] about playing games ... the battle of the sexes.”

The two actors had a blast with the film, McConaughey tells me. “Kate is really talented and really natural,” he says. “She does every take different ... she has great timing. She’s very relaxed and very playful. There’s chemistry between us on screen ... it’s easy to be attracted to her.”

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days may be a chick flick, and McConaughey admits, “Romantic comedy is not the first thing I want to see.” Even so, the movie is “still for dudes,” he says.

“Guys and girls dig it,” he continues. “It’s a whole lotta fun, and you ain’t gotta think of nothin’.”

But surely there is something we can learn from the film? Lots of dating no-no’s, for instance. According to McConaughey, a girl’s number one dating faux pas is asking a guy, “What are you thinking?”

“You gotta have your own time,” he says. “There’s you, there’s me, and there’s we.” So if a guy is deep in thought, “Let us be.”

So what does he do when he’s not role-playing? “I love to travel ... to countries where they don’t speak English.”

When he’s not traveling, he’s a homebody at his Hollywood abode, or he’s working on his beloved, two-year old ranch in Texas. “Decorating and landscaping is my hobby,” he says. And though he loves Hollywood, he’s a true Texan. “I can still talk to strangers there,” he says. “It’s a state that holds up and digs into its own identity. It holds onto traditions that work. It [also] progresses. [Living on the ranch] gets your body clock on the right time ... you can do anything you want or nothing at all.”

But acting is McConaughey’s first love. He once wrote in his diary that acting is like all the “’ologies”. Psychology, physiology, biology, etc. He continued to explain: “I like to do all kinds of things,” and acting is apparently his way of doing them. So what’s the next “’ology” for McConaughey?

“I feel a bit of a hippie coming on,” he tells me.

Maybe we’ll next see him in a Dazed and Confused-ish role. And with whom would he like to work? “Susan Sarandon,” he says.

What does he think of being so much in the public eye? “It gives an opportunity to take a stance on public issues. We don’t live in an ideal world,” he says. But before he makes his opinions public, he “does a lot of homework.”

He also doesn’t give too much thought to what people say about him. “There are good bad reviews and there are bad bad reviews. The good ones are very critical, very constructive. The [writers of the] bad ones don’t have critical right. They just like to hear themselves talk. They were just having a bad day.”

But how could any day be bad with Matthew McConaughey on the phone? I’ll admit it. I have a bit of a crush.