Matthew McConaughey Interview For ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’
In ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ Matthew McConaughey plays Mickey Haller, a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who operates out of the back of his Lincoln sedan. Haller has spent most of his career defending garden-variety criminals, until he lands the case of his career – defending Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillipe), a Beverly Hills playboy accused of rape and attempted murder. But the seemingly straightforward case suddenly develops into a deadly game of survival for Haller.
The film is based on the brilliant Michael Connelly book of the same name – I’d strongly recommend giving it a peep, it’s a real page turner. Check out what McConaughey had to say about the film below. ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ is set for release March 18th.
Tell us a bit about your character?
Matthew McConaughey: He’s not a white night hero that’s for sure. I think he’s a guy that could have been, he could have been this Beverley Hills entertainment lawyer and succeeded, he could do it, but he didn’t do it, he couldn’t stomach the mendacity of those cases so he stayed with what he was comfortable with, and helping out these people who couldn’t really help themselves.
When he works out of the back of his Lincoln, which is very cool, in this story….with all the dancing with the system, deal making – there’s a lot of deal making, that’s a thing I found out, maybe 90% of these cases plea out, you go make a deal, its shifty in that way, its not cut and dry, they very rarely follow the case until there’s a right or wrong, they’re always making deals. So Mickey is very street in that way, very much a wheeler dealer.
What did you think of the Lincoln?
Matthew McConaughey: Mickey’s good, I don’t care if he’s riding a bike, he’s good (laughs). I had to hire a lawyer one time, he wasn’t working out the back of his Lincoln but it may have been a truck, and it worked, only cost me 50 bucks, but that was 50 bucks too much (laughs), but I was acquitted.
You and Marisa’s character have an unconventional relationship in the film?
Matthew McConaughey: Yeah, my ex-wife in the film is Marisa Tomei, who plays Maggie, she’s a prosecuting attorney. I was very excited about her being Maggie. The stories not a huge love story, but the story does have a chance to show how a relationship like that really does work, a prosecutor marries a defendant, they have a daughter together, they’re now divorced, but they still have that relationship for when they do get together on them late nights hooking up, they’re probably wondering whatever went wrong? We’re perfect for each other! But then they wake up in the morning and are like what…in…the…hell…am…I…doing, well at least she is probably (laughs). There’s a lot of relationships like that, so to not make that relationship sentimental, to not make that relationship longing, to not have the relationship where at the end of the film you know they’re back together, when they’re really not, is more truthful and more realistic. There’s a lot of couples like that, they still have that working relationship, they’re still attracted to each other, but they’re not together. In that my character and Maggie understand something that no one else does. In this instance when I get into a pinch, she doesn’t know the details, but she knows if I’m asking her for something, I really need it.
You bounce off both with Ryan Phillipe and William H Macy brilliantly in the film.
Matthew McConaughey: Thanks, I’ve had a really good time working with Ryan, we don’t know a thing about each other until we meet, very different to say Maggie and Marisa, we’ve got that past relationship, it was fun to talk about, who we were, who we are. With Ryan I was like I’ve got my guy, you’ve got your guy, I don’t wanna know, I wanna be surprised by what you do, you be surprised by what I do, lets rehearse on film, and he was like yup. He’s very much a pro, I’ve really enjoyed working with him.
Bill is a blast, he plays Mick’s best friend. He’s also my private investigator. He’s a ball, he’s a lot of fun, I worked briefly with him on ‘Sahara’ but this time we really had a chance to have some good scenes together, we got to show our past relationship, where our relationship is now, how much fun we have together, he’s played it so not like a….moralist, we’re playing guys who’ve seen it all.
What was it like working on a film based on a novel?
Matthew McConaughey: I’ve worked on a couple of films that have been based on a novel before, one thing that you have to get is that there’s a difference, a 500 page novel, a 120 page script, you have to get from A to C and miss B sometimes, there’s certain beautiful nuggets in the book that you’re not gonna get in the film, and you shouldn’t, that’s why it’s the film, that’s why its an hour and a half, an hour and forty five minutes, whatever it is, you don’t have time. I like to think of the film as a greatest hits version of the many albums in the book (laughs). But also without compressing too much, the film has to have room to breathe, but like I said you do have to get from A to C sometimes, and miss B.
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