McConaughey focused on current project

With How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days entering theaters Friday, Matthew McConaughey has his hands full with promoting the film. He does interviews, visits TV shows, such as MTV’s Total Request Live and travels. But at the same time, he’s having fun. Scheduled to play host on Saturday Night Live this weekend, McConaughey wants to maintain a fun-filled atmosphere while making sure his film does well in theaters.

Right now McConaughey is concerned with How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, a movie full of skits and jokes that proves funny.

“One of the things with a romantic comedy is that if you’re not having fun with making it, you’re doing something wrong,” McConaughey said in a studio-sponsored conference call Monday with college journalists. “We had a fun script, and we made it funny. Kate (Hudson) was fun to work with and Donald … the director was fun, too.”

In the midst of romantic comedies flooding the cinema market, McConaughey says his film stands out from the rest of the crop.

“It’s got a simple premise of a bet,” he said. “(Both characters) have secret ambitions, but the best joke is that the audience knows something that I don’t know and she doesn’t know, and it’s being privy to that information and watching our reactions is what makes it funny.”

The atmosphere on the set contributed to making the movie as funny as it is. McConaughey said that being able to contribute to the script allowed him to have more in common with his character. During one part of the movie, the girlfriend enters Ben’s house while he’s not expecting her. She had her own key made. The idea of her own key came from McConaughey.

“One of the things you have to have while making a romantic comedy is the right two people,” McConaughey said. “You put two different people on the same script and it’s going to be a different movie. We had a very free and open working relationship. It was very collaborative.”

And while the movie seems to be a promising blockbuster, McConaughey doesn’t just pick his movies based on the size of the budget of the film. He’s played in low budget films such as Frailty and 13 Conversations About One Thing. Though working on big studio productions is convenient, McConaughey says small films provide an actor with more sense of self as an artist.

“(With both movies) I wanted to get my hands back in the clay,” McConaughey said. “It brought back the feeling of what it’s like to make films in college. As an actor, you’re much more of a filmmaker on smaller films because you really have to work with the crew. There’s sort of a cool, wicked, rapid pace on the smaller films.”

Differences are many between small and big budget films, but the major commodity is time. “Time is so precious on small things,” McConaughey said. “You don’t have the money or the preparation time you do on larger films. On films like Reign of Fire, you go to work for 13 hours a day, and you’re on camera for maybe 15 minutes. The rest is preparation time. On a small film like 13 Conversations, you act to get it done by whatever means possible.”

But whatever role he’s in, McConaughey remains an object of sexual attraction for many women. And as for being such an icon, he accepts the risks associated with the job.

“Right on,” he said “I guess that’s how I feel.”

Contact Olga Robak at