According to the Hollywood actor we’d most like to rip a bong with, Matthew McConaughey’s mid-career evolution from the first name approached for a fluffy Kate Hudson rom-com to a bonafide awards show threat with bankable leading man status (see: Mud, Dallas Buyers Club, upcoming HBO drama series True Detective) is owed in some measure to the gap year he spent in Australia when he was a non-famous 18 year old with no money and no idea what he wanted to do with his life.
“Man, I love cricket,” he said. “I was working on a pea farm in Narrandera and we’d come in for smoko, and put the cricket on. And I’m talking the full-on, five-day matches, back when Curtly Ambrose and Desmond Haynes were rollin’ for the West Indies. I also went to two West Indies-Australia matches and I remember my days at the tests – you eat a hot dog, you take a nap, you wake up, then maybe you catch the first wicket … Then you drink some beer and then take another nap. It was cool man.”
Yep, story checks out. He was sleep-drunk at an 80s era West Indies vs Australia test match and just said “smoko”.
On living in the Central Coast of NSW, he said: “I went over there having just graduated high school. I was all green lights man. I left America with a car, a job and some cash in my pocket, a girlfriend and some awful freedom. Then suddenly I got there and there were school uniforms and I was writing creative English papers… So I felt like I went a little bit backwards. I started skipping school and hanging out in the library.”
Then the “best thing” happened when a principal from the Central Coast of NSW suggested that the disinterested student try his hand at work experience. “He came in and said, ‘Hey Matthew, I can tell it’s not really going right for ya. We’ve got this thing called work experience where you go and work for somebody. You don’t get paid, but you can get some experience.’” he said. “And you know what, I did and it was the best thing that could have happened to me. I ended up doing 11 different jobs over there – I worked in the ANZ bank, I accidentally set off the alarm once, that was embarrassing, and I was assisting golf pros, helped a marine service guy, and became a pretty decent carpenter.”
So there you have it. The year’s second most likely Oscars lead actor nominee Matthew McConaughey used to be an apprentice carpenter in rural New South Wales somewhere, really loves cricket and occasionally says the word “smoko”.
He’s like your salty uncle Bruce with less body fat
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