Two things you maybe didn’t know: Matthew McConaughey once starred in a Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie, and he threatened a receptionist with a spoon to get the role.
While kicking off in 1974 with Tobe Hooper’s timeless original, the horror franchise has never sustained the terror of its first entry. There’s been a total of eight movies, with a ninth currently in the works for release sometime next year.
In 1994, McConaughey starred alongside Renée Zellweger in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, the final instalment in the original series before remakes and reboots hit the big screen. It’s hard to say it’s one of the actor’s most memorable performances – but hell, he took things quite far to ensure he got the role.
In a recent video on the actor’s YouTube channel, he looked back on the movie and discussed how there’s been a number of projects where he was originally marked to play a different role than the one he actually got in the finished movie.
Having done Dazed and Confused the previous summer, McConaughey went back to school, finished his senior year and was ready to drive out to Hollywood – then, he got offered a role in ‘this horror picture… it was a one-day role.’
His character was initially incredibly minor, not playing any part in Zellweger’s ‘night of horror’ with Leatherface and his cannibalistic family. Instead, he was meant to ride up in a motorbike outside her school, and eventually whisk her away into a happy ending. ‘Sure I’ll do that,’ he first said.
When he met director Kim Henkel, he asked McConaughey for actor suggestions to play the villain Vilmer. After giving him some names, it occurred to him: why couldn’t he play the part?
‘As I got to the curb to get in my truck, which already had my U-Haul packed up to come to California, I said, ‘I should try for that role.’ So I went back down the sidewalk, went in, [Henkel] said ‘You forget anything?’ I said, ‘No! I didn’t forget anything but I want to try out for the role of Vilmer’,’ the star recalled.
The secretary at the time was excited to read the scene with him. ‘And right then, I ran to the kitchen, grabbed a big tablespoon out of the drawer, came back in, and just pinned her in a corner and acted like it was a weapon. And did it until she cried.
‘And they yelled cut, and Kim was like, ‘That was good.’ And the girl was like, ‘Yeah, that was really good. You really scared me.’ And Kim goes, ‘Do you want the part?’ and I go ‘Yeah, I’ll take the part.”
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