By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist November 19, 2011 at 11:26AM
In case you haven't noticed, Matthew McConaughey is done being your buffed and tanned rom-com boy toy. Though he's still as handsome as ever, he's been putting his underrated acting skills first in a number of movies that have stepped away from the persona that made him famous. He led an unexpected box office hit earlier this year with "The Lincoln Lawyer," gives a memorable turn in Richard Linklater's upcoming "Bernie" and he will truly astonish everybody with his perverse performance in William Friedkin's amazingly wicked B-movie, "Killer Joe." Well, the actor is continuing his streak of Interesting Work against Easy Paydays, taking a role in "Take Shelter" director Jeff Nichols' next effort, "Mud." And even though it only started filming this fall, Empire has nabbed the first official look at the film.
Co-starring Reese Witherspoon, Michael Shannon and "The Tree of Life" tyke Tye Sheridan, the film follows the story of an unlikely friendship between a fugitive (McConaughey) and a 14-year-old boy (Sheridan) who helps him escape off an island in Mississippi, evade the law and bounty hunters, and reunite him with his sweetheart Juniper (Witherspoon). Describing it as a "fairytale about love" and excitedly drawing a comparison to "Stand By Me," McConaughey talks about his character to the magazine in his own distinct way.
“Mud's a dreamer,” he explained. “He's an aristocrat of the heart. He's committed to this woman, and he's been committed to her since she was ten years old. They've gotten together probably 50 times and she's run off 50 times. He's like an old Labrador: waitin'. He knows that one day, hopefully, she'll come around to him. He loves her unconditionally and forever. And if this events in this story didn't happen, it would go on for another 40 years. He'd still be at her door, no matter how many times she hauled ass.”
Nichols is one of the most exciting voices in American cinema today ("Shotgun Stories" is a must see) and it once again looks like he's creating something wholly unique and original. We're pretty excited. No word yet on a release date, but could Cannes be in the equation for "Mud"? Maybe. "Take Shelter" played the Critic's Week sidebar last year, so it's not out of the question. But either way we'll likely see this sometime next year, and we can't wait.