Matthew McConaughey has undergone something of a transformation.
The 44-year-old Texas-born actor was once a staple in silly, star-studded romantic comedies yet McConaughey finds himself nominated for best actor at tomorrow’s 86th Annual Academy Awards. And you know what? He might actually win.
2014 has so far been a pretty stand out year for the star. As well as leading Dallas Buyer’s Club, a thought-provoking look at the plight of AIDs patients in the 1980s, he stars in another Oscar nominated film The Wolf of Wall Street and is currently acting alongside Woody Harrleson in Sky Atlantic drama True Detective, which has so far garnered rave reviews from critics.
But he hasn’t always been the focus of critical acclaim. As McConaughey prepares to take to the red carpet tomorrow, here’s a reminder of the path he took to get here…
Dazed and Confused – 1993
This coming-of-age drama was McConaughey’s first big role. Alongside rising stars Ben Affleck, Rene Zellweger and Mila Jovovich, he played David Wooderson, a man in his early 20s who still socialises with high school students.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation – 1994
Probably a film both McConaughey and his co-star Renee Zellweger would rather we forgot about… McConaughey’s next big screen role was as Vilmer Slaughter in the movie, which received incredibly poor reviews.
A Time to Kill – 1996
From a slasher movie to the other side of the law – McConaughey won best breakthrough performance at the MTV Movie awards for his role as Jake Tyler Brigance, a lawyer who takes on a ground breaking case dealing with child rape in America’s deep south..
Jump forward 7 years and McConaughey is the king of the rom-com. Here he is starring alongside queen of the 00s rom-com Kate Hudson, as Ben Barry, an advertising exec convinced he can make any girl fall in love with him.
Here’s another 00s classic. McConaughey plays Tripp, a 35-year-old commitment phobe who still lives with his parents, alongside Sex and the City’s Sarah Jessica Parker.
The Lincoln Lawyer – 2011
After a two year break, following McConaughey’s last rom-com The Ghosts of Girlfriends past, he returns to the silver screen as Mickey Haller in this legal thriller. A million miles away from being a romantic lead…
Bernie, Killer Joe, The Paper Boy, Mud and Magic Mike later, McConaughey has found himself a serious awards contender. His turn as Ron Woodroof in Jean-Marc Vallee’s film about the plight of AIDs patients in the 1980s has earned him a nomination at this year’s Oscars, as well as over 15 wins at awards ceremonies across the world so far.
True Detective – 2014
He may be a big Hollywood star, but McConaughey has added another string to his bow recently, taking the role of Detective Rust Cohle in HBOs crime drama, also starring Woody Harrelson. A role that will no doubt bag him more award nominations before the year is out…
True Detective is on Saturdays at 9:00pm on Sky Atlantic.
Watch the 86th Academy Awards on Sunday from 11:30pm on Sky Movies.
Ellie is an entertainment, TV and film journalist writing news and (hopefully incredibly witty) comment for RadioTimes.com. She loves light-hearted dramas and glossy US series - and is more than a little bit obsessed with Downton Abbey. Foodie, sun-seeker and aspiring novelist in her own time. Likes the fact that her name rhymes with telly.