Why Matthew McConaughey Joined ‘Serenity’: I Had to ‘Figure Out the Riddle’

Why Matthew McConaughey Joined Serenity
Matthew McConaughey Graham Bartholomew/Aviron Pictures

While some critics haven’t been too crazy about Serenity, Matthew McConaughey couldn’t put the script down.

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“Part of the fun was sitting down with the script – it took me weeks,” the Academy Award winner, 49, told Us Weekly in an exclusive interview. “I remember [director] Steven [Knight] coming up to me and saying, ‘What are you doing?’ I said, ‘I’m working on this riddle that you put together and I am going to figure this riddle out!’ He put together a great script, one that I found thrilling, one that I said, ‘Oh, that’s a film I want to see, one that I have enjoyed reading over and over through pre-production and now.’”

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The film follows military vet Baker Dill, who makes a living as a fisherman living on a deserted island. He’s faced with a moral challenge and life-changing decision when his ex-wife Karen (Anne Hathaway) arrives and tries to hire him to kill her abusive husband. Overall, the film includes many important themes that are seen every day in today’s world.

Why Matthew McConaughey Joined Serenity
Matthew McConaughey, Jason Clarke, and Djimon Hounsou Graham Bartholomew/Aviron Pictures

“The overriding halo that this movie brings up is when and if it is OK when good people do bad things for good reasons,” McConaughey said. “It’s an age-long question philosophers have been trying to decide. Political systems, law systems, justice systems are built on that. It’s a question that’s ongoing but it also [asks] more of the fun questions. … There are a lot of after-screening conversations for this.”

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Speaking of fun – McConaughey couldn’t wait to work with Hathaway again; the two previously starred together in 2014’s Interstellar.

“She’s as good as it gets between action and cut, in my opinion. She’s fully consumed and obsessed with the work we have to do that day – and that’s not laborious, that’s actually relaxing because for 12 hours when you’re working, it’s full concentration on her end,” the Dallas Buyers Club star told Us. “She asks great questions, she does her homework, she shows up prepared. We also don’t always agree! We enjoy disagreeing. We give each other, I think, a good bit of resistance. What I mean by that is that sometimes, we perform better with more resistance, more to overcome. With her, we have good resistance and yet we really respect each other as peers.”

Serenity is in theaters now.

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