There is a certain quality to Matthew McConaughey’s voice—a low-slung, slow-and-lazy swagger that can turn on a rusty dime from hair-raising bark to belly-scratching idleness. In other words, if there were a talking dog who was also a self-styled cowboy (and a bit of a narcissist), strutting around his ranch out in the Texas Panhandle, you’d expect him to sound exactly like Matthew McConaughey. And while John R. Erickson’s popular Hank the Cowdog book series has been delighting kids since 1982—when McConaughey was but thirteen years old, spouting off prairie-zen koans to his junior-high teachers—the truth is that all this time it’s been McConaughey’s drawl those children heard in their heads. We just didn’t realize it until now.
It took a while for someone else to figure that out, too, which is why it was only last week that McConaughey was announced to play Hank in a new Hank the Cowdog podcast series, launching September 14. The five-episode adaptation of Erickson’s beloved stories will reunite McConaughey with his Mud director, Jeff Nichols, with Nichols shepherding a slightly more family-friendly story this time. Along for those sweet podcast residuals are several other Texans (and adopted Texans), including Dallas-born Austinite Jesse Plemons and his fiancée, Kirsten Dunst, plus Plemons’ fellow Dallas native Scoot McNairy. McConaughey has been preparing for this role for, if not his whole life, then certainly throughout the pandemic, which has seen him reading children’s stories and remaking himself into a uniquely comforting disembodied voice, one you’d welcome issuing from myriad fauna, flora, or household objects.
Jamie Foxx Expands Plans to Be Everywhere, in Everything
Terrell’s very own superstar Jamie Foxx will make his bid for incorporeal immortality this November, with his starring voice-over role in Pixar’s Soul. But he’s also been incredibly visible—arguably more so than ever before. In the last few months alone, Foxx has shared his physical transformation for the role of boxer Mike Tyson in an upcoming biopic, Finding Mike; taken that new chassis for a test drive in the Netflix action movie Project Power; and announced that he will executive-produce and star in a new Netflix TV series, Dad Stop Embarrassing Me, that’s based on his relationship with his oldest daughter. And this week, Foxx kept up that frantic pace, joining Star Wars actor John Boyega in the pulp sci-fi caper They Cloned Tyrone, as well as signing a deal with Sony Entertainment to produce and star in an unnamed number of feature films—including an untitled action thriller that’s already in development. All this, by the way, is on top of Foxx starring as Black Panther Party leader Geronimo Platt in the Johnnie Cochran film Signal Hill, playing the titular demon warrior in a reboot of Todd McFarlane’s Spawn, and talking about joining Mel Gibson a rumored remake of The Wild Bunch. In his scant downtime, he also hosts the Fox game show Beat Shazam, and is probably pacing the floor even now, wondering how he can turn his body’s cursed need for sleep into a docuseries.
Luke Wilson to Listen In on 911 Calls
The voice of Dallas-born actor Luke Wilson is sort of soothing, I suppose—at least, when judged along the Wilson scale, where his brother Owen’s spaced-out ramble would definitely rank last among those you’d want to hear in an emergency. The youngest and de facto most comforting Wilson will bring his relative gravitas to the new ABC reality series Emergency Call, which focuses on actual 911 dispatchers in the early moments of a crisis, documenting their attempts to keep people calm until help can arrive. Wilson will host the series, providing the narrative through-line to these suspenseful situations much as William Shatner once did for the long-running Rescue 911. And while Wilson’s voice may also lack some of that Shatnerian urgency, as you can see in this quick promo, there are few such caveats when it comes to his genuinely concerned eyebrows.
Gina Torres and COVID-19 Head to 9-1-1: Lone Star
Meanwhile, in the world of fake emergency calls placed in a laughably fake Texas, Fox’s 9-1-1: Lone Star has added a new series regular in Gina Torres—along with a topical new twist. Deadline reports that the Firefly alum will join Rob Lowe’s ostensibly Austin-based team of first responders, playing a former paramedic captain who “was at the top of her game” before she retired to care for her twin daughters, only to be called back into action once the closures prompted by COVID-19 threaten to bankrupt her husband’s restaurant. Like the explosion of a bull semen factory, it’s a story that feels ripped from the headlines, then awkwardly transplanted to a Los Angeles–filmed version of the capital, and $50 says someone makes a “Corona/coronavirus” joke within the first two episodes.
Did Post Malone Get a New Tattoo?
For a maddening fourth straight week, no, he did not. But the Grapevine rapper did break a new career milestone by reaching more than two billion Spotify streams for his 2017 single “Rockstar.” This officially makes Malone’s 21 Savage collaboration the streaming service’s second-most-streamed song, coming up fast on Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You.” Hey Post, do you know what would be a cool way to commemorate this? Getting a tattoo of Ed Sheeran’s nervous, sweating face somewhere in your nether regions. C’mon, man.
THIS WEEK IN MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY
As we noted up top, it seems like Matthew McConaughey’s voice is everywhere lately—scattered all across this great state of ours like the unsightly litter it’s now been conscripted into lecturing you about. Yes, because the Texas Department of Transportation has seen an uptick in improperly discarded personal protective equipment, the actor has teamed up with country star George Strait for a new “Don’t Mess With Texas” PSA, one specifically directed at all the careless people who have been tossing their used face masks—the very masks McConaughey told them to wear in the first place!—onto the streets and sidewalks when they’re done with them. It should probably go without saying that this is both unsanitary and illegal. Yet because some of you apparently don’t know what to do with a mask unless Matthew McConaughey tells you, here we are. Somehow McConaughey’s ad is far more diplomatic than his banned 2000 version.
Anyway, “Don’t Litter” is about the most straightforward advice we’re likely to get out of McConaughey for a while, now that he’s readying his memoir/manifesto, Greenlights, for its October release. As announced this week, McConaughey will celebrate its release with a virtual book tour, kicking off October 19 with a conversation hosted by his Dazed and Confused director Richard Linklater at Austin’s BookPeople. But McConaughey has already launched a bewildering, never-ending Q&A deep inside your mind by posting some weekly excerpts on his social media, including such murmured-into-your-iPhone meditations as “Sometimes we find our frequency by holding onto a moral bottom line in the midst of chaos. Sometimes we find it by breaking the rules and running the damn red light to get our ass home.” If that doesn’t do it for you, there’s also the T-shirt-ready “Some people want the AC on in the gym so they won’t sweat. I wear my beanie in July so I will.” Granted, these may not look like much when they’re just written out like that. But whether it’s cartoon dogs or pop philosophy, trust that it all sounds a little better in Matthew McConaughey’s voice.
— Matthew McConaughey (@McConaughey) September 4, 2020