Variety: Matthew McConaughey Says He Owes Career to Late Director Joel Schumacher

Matthew McConaughey is giving credit where credit is due. According to his latest interview, that's with the late director, Joel Schumacher, who broke him onto the scene over two decades ago. 

Matthew McConaughey opened up about the reason for his success in a new interview with Variety earlier this week. The "Dallas Buyers Club" star has been around for a while now. 

Yet it wasn't until he played the lead role of Jake Tyler Brigance in 1996's "A Time to Kill" that he could boast about his portfolio. Previous parts included "Boys on the Side," "Dazed and Confused," and "Angels in the Outfield." 

Matthew McConaughey attends a special screening of "White Boy Rick" at Picturehouse Central on November 27, 2018 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

Matthew McConaughey attends a special screening of "White Boy Rick" at Picturehouse Central on November 27, 2018 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

MCCONAUGHEY SAYS JOEL FOUGHT FOR HIM

Speaking to Variety, McConaughey talked about how the director, Joel Schumacher, made sure he landed his first major role and guided him along on the tough days. 

"Joel not only took a chance on me, he fought for me," explained the star. He further revealed how Schumacher arranged for them to have a "secret screen test," so McConaughey could prove himself to others. 

During filming, Schumacher kept McConaughey confident in his role by offering a simple reminder that went, "Hey, you are Jake Brigance. You, Matthew, are the character." 

Matthew McConaughey looks on after the final round of the World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play at Austin Country Club on March 25, 2018 in Austin, Texas. | Source: Getty Images

Matthew McConaughey looks on after the final round of the World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play at Austin Country Club on March 25, 2018 in Austin, Texas. | Source: Getty Images

GEORGE CLOONEY AGREES WITH SENTIMENTS

Looking back at it, McConaughey noted: "I don't see how my career could have gone to the wonderful places it has if it wasn't for Joel Schumacher believing in me back then."

Variety also got ahold of George Clooney, who vehemently agreed that Schumacher fought for his fellow actor and put him in the role that propelled McConaughey's successful career. 

The interview follows Schumacher's death on Monday, June 22. The former costume designer died at the age of 80 after battling cancer for a year. 

SCHUMACHER'S LEGACY IN FILM  AND WIRTING

His legacy includes direction of major hits such as two "Batman" classics: "Batman Forever" and "Batman and Robin," as well as "The Lost Boys," "St. Elmo's Fire," and "Falling Down." 

He also wrote screenplays including 1978's "Car Wash" and "The Wiz." He received three Oscar nominations for the feature adaption of "The Phantom of the Opera," Andrew Lloyd Webber's timeless musical. 

In addition to paying homage to his late friend, McConaughey has recently been helping out with COVID-19 relief efforts. Last month, the actor did his part by helping to deliver 110k face masks throughout Texas.

HELP WITH COVID-19 AND GIVING BACK TO KIDS

Lincoln car company, for whom McConaughey works as a spokesperson, donated the safety items which are said to be necessary against the spread of the novel coronavirus. They fell into a shortage in some areas. 

McConaughey is also giving back through his Just Keep Livin' Foundation, a program that assists high school students undergoing financial hardship. 

To date, he employs 84 teachers across 37 high schools. They engage in activities such as aerobic exercise, yoga, and weekend service projects. McConaughey calls himself a hedonist because he gains pleasure from helping others.

MCCONAUGHEY AND HIS WIFE USE TOUGH LOVE

As for his kids, McConaughey and his wife Camila Alves opened up about their parenting skills recently. The couple share kids Levi, 11, Via, 10, and Livingstone, seven. 

In an interview with Town and Country magazine, the actor explained, "Sometimes loving your kids means giving them just what they want. Other times it means tough love."

Matthew McConaughey, his wife Camila Alves, his mother Kay and his children at the Texas Medal Of Arts Awards in 2019. | Photo: Getty Images

Matthew McConaughey, his wife Camila Alves, his mother Kay and his children at the Texas Medal Of Arts Awards in 2019. | Photo: Getty Images

He went on to say that the word "No" often takes more energy than "Yes." McConaughey and his wife have been married for eight years. They make a great team together. 

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