On Mon. Oct. 26, Magic City Books welcomed Matthew McConaughey to talk about his new memoir, “Greenlights.” The bonus was that it wasn’t going to be him speaking through a screen answering questions; rather he was going to be talking to good friend Woody Harrelson. Like many of his projects, this one was personal — in order to write it, he secluded himself away from his work, friends and loved ones for several days in the desert. It was a way for him to find himself and reflect on his journey as a person.
As he spoke about this journey, it didn’t take long for anyone to realize that McConaughey has had his fair share of struggles, hope, doubt and faith. “Greenlights” was a cleansing moment for the Academy Award winning actor; as he was writing his book, he dug up a lot of old memorabilia such as journals that he kept tucked away. McConaughey thought it was finally time to let go of the past and talk about it. As much as he wrote it to share with millions of fans, it’s clear that he wrote it for himself, not as a way to brag and talk about what he had to do in order to achieve success, but to release his troubles and to have triumph as a man.
The way that McConaughey explained the title is a metaphor for life — when you drive, you will have green lights, giving you the opportunity to keep moving forward, and other times you will have red lights, which will inhibit you to keep going, and make you contemplate before you go. Throughout the interview, as McConaughey spoke to Harrelson, he was candid about his life experiences; he was never pretentious. If anything, it felt like a conversation you would hear at a restaurant. Every time you heard both of them speak or laugh, you silenced yourself just to hear more of their conversation. You wanted to be part of it, and for the most part, you were, just as a bystander who had the privilege to obtain their knowledge.
McConaughey and Harrelson just spoke. It was simple, yet it was amazing. Though they were reserved out of respect for each other, not to reveal too many personal details, they were never closed off. They revealed as much as they could with a relieving laugh and genuine smile. For instance, Matthew McConaughey spoke about the green lights he had early in his career, such as being casted in “Dazed and Confused”, and then not having any roles for a while. Then, he was asked to play a Spanish-speaking character in the 1995 crime thriller, “Scorpion Spring”, and he hit another red light. As he continued with the hit and misses of being an actor, he found a balance of caring so much to persevere and being nonchalant to let go and be the given character. The same with Woody Harrelson — just as he was about to give up as an actor and go back to Ohio, he was cast in a life changing role. McConaughey and Harrelson soon after talked about regret and doubt, but they came to a few conclusions — to leave them behind and to keep moving forward. You need to be worried sometimes, but know that it’ll work out somehow, someway, and it will shape you as a better person in the end.
The interview concluded with McConaughey answering some more questions about his book and thanking Magic City Books for having him. It was a wholesome opportunity. If you didn’t get the opportunity to see him, don’t worry. The interview will be available for the public in December. His book “Greenlights” is out now. I highly recommend reading it and watching the interview. You will not regret it.