This is the story of a Hollywood heartthrob who recognizes—belatedly—that there’s such a thing as too much exposure. In mid-1992, around the time he was filming his first major feature, Dazed and Confused, Matthew McConaughey and his then-girlfriend were asked to model in the nude by Matthew Fuller, an Austin photographer who specialized in arty studies of men and women. Although McConaughey would soon be moving to Los Angeles in search of movie stardom, he had no head shots to hand out and no money to have them taken, so he cut a deal with Fuller: A day of shots au naturel in exchange for a day fully clothed. On July 27 McConaughey signed a standard release and then spent two days before the camera. On the first, he and his girlfriend posed in the buff in a Round Rock quarry while Fuller snapped ten genitalia-free rolls of film. (“The stipulation was no sexual content,” Fuller says.) On the second, a hiply dressed McConaughey preened and strutted in Fuller’s studio, where another ten rolls were taken. Soon after, McConaughey left for L.A. and Fuller moved to Milan. And that was that until last year, when McConaughey was cast in the big-screen version of John Grisham’s A Time to Kill. All over the world, the press was buzzing about the Uvalde native—except, it seems, in Italy, where Fuller heard not a peep about his former subject’s ascendancy. Then, in April, he moved back to Austin. Everywhere he went, he heard about McConaughey, and he remembered those pictures. As any other photographer would have done, he thought about finding a buyer. Finally, in early August, just after the premiere of A Time to Kill, word of Fuller’s plans got back to McConaughey, who called to say it was A Time to Deal. Concerned that the nude pictures would be misunderstood, McConaughey proposed that in exchange for a promise not to publish any of them, he would let Fuller photograph him again (clothed, of course). Fuller, however, thought he was entitled to a cash settlement—yet when McConaughey’s publicist, the feared-but-revered Pat Kingsley, contacted Fuller, she dismissed his suggestion of a $50,000 payment. McConaughey and Fuller talked twice more over the next two weeks, and finally, around Labor Day, McConaughey’s business manager, Gus Gustawes, phoned back with an offer: No cash settlement—just a shoot with McConaughey next February; and Fuller could syndicate the clothed photos in foreign markets as long as he vowed to keep the nudie pix under wraps. Fuller is now mulling his options. The reality, of course, is that he would be well within his rights to do with the photos whatever he pleases. He has a release and ten rolls of film on which a movie star is naked. If he wanted to, he could tell the Star and the National
He’s Nude, Dude!
Back when he was an Austin slacker, Matthew McConaughey posed for some revealing pictures. No wonder he doesn’t want you to see them.
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