Babyfaced and Confused: McConaughey’s Early ’90s Audition Tape

He’s come a long way, baby.

This audition tape, released Monday by Criterion as part of the Dazed and Confused special edition, shows Matthew McConaughey at his humble beginnings, before the Academy Award-winner had ever landed a film role.

According to a 2013 Maxim magazine oral history of the film, Linklater didn’t think McConaughey was right for the role, because, as casting director Don Phillips says, “He was too handsome.” Famously, McConaughey convinced Linklater with the line, “I ain’t this guy, but I know this guy.”

In the iconic—and yes, kind of creepy—scene, McConaughey plays David Wooderson almost exactly the way he’d play him once he snagged the role. It’s one of McConaughey’s signature moments, and if Linklater didn’t cast him, the world would’ve been deprived of the sage wisdom of “Alright, alright, alright.”


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