by Julian Spivey
Matthew McConaughey shocked Hollywood on Thursday, Jan. 15 when it was revealed that he’d been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for the second straight year after taking home the Oscar for his role in “Dallas Buyers Club” in 2014.
McConaughey wasn’t among the prospective nominees for the coveted award, which is why his second consecutive nomination came as a shock to both Hollywood insiders and cinephiles everywhere. His nomination wasn’t even the biggest surprise, but what McConaughey received the nomination for – not his performance as astronaut Cooper in Christopher Nolan’s space blockbuster “Interstellar,” but for his series of Lincoln car commercials.
McConaughey becomes the first major star to receive an Oscar nomination for a role in a commercial, which is allowed under Academy rules classified as a short film. He also becomes the first actor nominated for such an esteemed honor just for playing himself on film.
Though McConaughey is popular among audiences, his peers and Hollywood executives his nomination did cause quite the controversy on Thursday morning shortly after it was announced, particularly for being chosen over the performances of Steve Carell in “Foxcatcher,” Jake Gyllenhaal in “Nightcrawler” and David Oyelowo in “Selma.” The unique nomination was defended by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs.
“We realize that nominating Matthew for this award based on a series of 30 to 60 second commercials for a car company was going to be a controversial and unconventional decision, but once we saw his performance we knew it would simply be inexcusable to snub him,” Isaacs said. “He really captured our imagination with his incredible dramatic and comedic performance. It was such a thought-provoking role that many of our 6,000 members were immediately compelled to go out and buy Lincolns.”
No one was more shocked about McConaughey’s Oscar nomination than McConaughey himself who was reportedly surfing in Hawaii with “True Detective” co-star and good friend Woody Harrelson.
When reached by phone for interview McConaughey said, “Alright, alright, alright” before launching into a 25 minute spiel about how his role of Lincoln spokesman was the one role he’d prepared his entire 45-year life for. “I wasn’t just born to sell Lincolns,” he said before pausing for an incredibly unnecessary amount of time, “but rather Lincolns were born to sell me.”
McConaughey’s competition for Best Actor during the February 22 ceremony will be stiff with the other four nominations going to Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Imitation Game”), Michael Keaton (“Birdman”), Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”) and Seth MacFarlane (“A Million Ways to Die in the West”), however he said it was just an honor to be nominated and that statues are only good for paper weights and trading for copious amounts of weed.