It’s not unusual, to the point now of being a cliche, for actors to say that what they really want to do is direct. What we don’t hear very often is actors saying that want they want to do is sell. In fact, the selling part of a movie star’s job— the press tours and junkets— is the most frequently and vehemently maligned. No matter how much an actor loves their job or the project they’re promoting, you never hear them say they just can’t wait to go out and sell it. Except, apparently, for Matthew McConaughey, who says he’s “always been interested in the art of the sell.”
Does that sound like he’s over-justifying a paycheck? Or does he really suddenly fancy himself a chill, Southern Don Draper? Celebrities take jobs as highly-paid brand reps all the time, so it’s not like McConaughey has to sell us on selling. But, if taken at his word, his new job as not the face of Wild Turkey’s ultra cool Millennial rebranding, but as the Creative Director of the company, is maybe the new Peak McConaughey. Just look at this ad. Or documentary? Or introduction of their new hire? Or maybe just watch it and explain to me what it is, because I really don’t think I know.
I don’t know what that video was. Did it make me want to drink Wild Turkey? I mean, not really. But it has now made my brain link the brand with something and someone at the mysteriously odd and perplexing end of the spectrum. And that, I suppose, is why you bring McConaughey on board.
Oh, and he’s not just going to say words on camera, he’s also writing and directing all of the ads he’ll be in. As one higher-up at Wild Turkey described their new him,
“I did get more than I bargained for, but in a great way,” Melanie Batchelor, vice president for global spirits, said by phone from Campari offices in Italy. “Personally, I have been completely overwhelmed with his level of commitment.”
McConaughey, as a weird, fascinating, overwhelming human is somewhere between an introspective Charlie Kaufman film, and a video of a cat that has learned to skateboard. How did it learn to skateboard? What was the first step towards this happening? Where does it think it’s going? No one knows, and maybe it’s not important, but we’re still curious and delighted. I guess that’s the nature of Matthew McConaughey.