I would say it’s tough to believe that the gigantic, Lincoln-pimping, acting juggernaut that is present-day Matthew McConaughey started out as a throwaway supporting character in cult classic Dazed and Confused, but it’s not tough to believe because Dazed is his finest acting work as well as the best movie he’s ever been in.
McConaughey is about as big as it gets these days in Hollywood, but, just like all of us, he had to start somewhere. And today the Criterion Collection released footage of exactly where he started: his early ’90s taped audition for the character of Wooderson in Dazed and Confused.
So, he’s been a handsome, chill, blonde hunk from the beginning, sure. He also delivered two of Wooderson’s big catchphrases from the movie in the audition with “It’d be a lot cooler if you did” and “I keep getting older but they stay the same age.” But those kind of catchphrases don’t just appear out of thin air. Catchphrases are a numbers game — you gotta try out a crapload of them and just see which ones stick.
Lucky for us McConauheads, Criterion Collection also released all of his failed attempts at catchphrases that hit the cutting-room floor. So, yeah, “Alright, alright, alright” is a really great catchphrase, but can you imagine if one of these other ones would have stuck?
“Well, heck, I’ll light up”
“That’s why I love being goalie when we play soccer: I can grab the ball but no one else is ever allowed to use their hands”
“Triple digits on the chillin’ scale”
“You know it”
“That’s why I love the human digestive system: I keep eating, but it just processes the food into waste and expels it”
“I don’t wanna rush”
“That’s why I love online banking: I can manage all my accounts from the convenience of my home PC and the banks keep all my records digitally”
— from Dazed and Confused 2: Wooderson in the City