We may never get a sequel to Richard Linklater’s classic coming-of-age movie Dazed and Confused, but Matthew McConaughey has unexpectedly revived Wooderson, the mustachioed lothario in Dazed who made McConaughey cult-famous before he got real-famous.
The character returns in the music video for “Synthesizers,” the new single by pop producer and songwriter Butch Walker (Fall Out Boy, Pink, Katy Perry).
McConaughey told VH1 the clip was made with Linklater’s blessing.
“It’s some new things that Wooderson never did [in Dazed],” the actor said. “But we’re trying to keep it pretty close to the bone for who he might be today and things he might be into that you wouldn’t expect.”
That includes playing the trumpet and a tiny keyboard, lipsyncing Walker’s self-referential, anti-trendy lyrics, sharing the screen with porn actor Ron Jeremy, and hanging out with two hot too-young babes (ok, that part you’d expect).
The news inspired a flurry of “alright, alright, alright!” and “I get older, they stay the same age” cracks (because what else is there to say, really?). The Atlantic Wire‘s Ray Gustini was unimpressed saying that McConaughey’s original turn was “one of the great lazy charm performances in film history,” along with Montgomery Clift in Red River and Jeff Bridges in the Big Lebowski:
McConaughey’s spent the ensuing 19 years working hard to seem that relaxed ever again. He’s playing the character once again in a new video for Butch Walker and the Black Spiders. He looks leathery and puffy, which can happen after 19 years, but it’s the constant mugging that really bothered us. The Dave Wooderson we know wouldn’t waste a beer on this guy.
One could perhaps argue that after nineteen years, Wooderson should be leathery and puffy, but of course, if the character had aged, rather than the 42-year-old actor, he would actually be close to sixty.
Bizarrely, Billboard (and several other websites reprinting or ripping Billboard off) described McConaughey as “donning the Bob Marley tee” when, of course (then and now) Wooderson’s t-shirt bore the image of now Texas-resident Ted Nugent.
“Nugent’s ‘Strangle Hold’ was in my head the whole time I was Wooderson,” McConaughey told John Spong in Texas Monthly‘s 2003 oral history of Dazed.