In Richard Linklater’s ("Boyhood") cult 1993 hit “Dazed and Confused,” about the last day of school for a bunch of junior high and high schoolers in Texas, an unknown Matthew McConaughey plays a 20-something dude who smokes weed and hangs out with them. The folks at the Criterion Collection recently decided to release the audition tape for the role, and it's easy to see why the 23-year-old McConaughey got – and nailed—the part and went on to become a huge star.
Sporting an MTV “Headbanger’s Ball” T-shirt, Paul Newman-esque good looks, swagger and a Texas drawl, McConaughey reads the film's oft-quoted line in the audition tape: "That's what I love about these high school girls. I get older, and they stay the same age."
As iconic as Sean Penn’s stoned surfer dude character Spicoli from “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” McConaughey’s David Wooderson had actually already graduated and had a job. But his character helps to reinforce one of Linklater's messages in "Dazed and Confused," that as awful as high school can be, it's also the innocent glory days for some. And many don't want to leave.
McConaughey landed the role after meeting the casting director of the film, according to Uproxx, at the Hyatt bar where a friend of McConaughey's used to bartend and give him free beer. After "Dazed and Confused," writes Vince Mancini of Uproxx, McConaughey drove (in a Lincoln?) to Hollywood to become an actor and got two parts after his first two auditions. And the rest is history.