We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Matthew McConaughey shares origin of his iconic catchphrase

Matthew McConaughey revealed the story behind his catchphrase, as coined in the classic comedy movie Dazed and Confused from Richard Linklater.

Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused

Matthew McConaughey peaked early in his career in teen movie Dazed and Confused. His character, the sleazy David Wooderson, only has a few lines, but each of them is iconic. One quote has become synonymous with McConaughey, and during an SNL appearance, he explained the origins.


In his telling, transcribed by the Independent, McConaughey recalls being a college student who was given Richard Linklater’s script for the ’90s movie by a producer friend. “My character, David Wooderson, he has three lines in the entire film,” he remembers. “But one of those lines is what I like to call a launch pad line. Now what I mean by that, a launch pad line is a line that if a character really believes it, then I can feel like I can write a whole book on this character.”

That line in the comedy movie is, “That’s what I love about those high school girls, man. I get older, but they stay the same age.” An icky piece of dialogue that epitomises exactly who David is at this moment in time.

McConaughey went to do a wardrobe and make-up test, and Linklater loves him in the role. “The director comes up to me, Richard Linklater, and he says, ‘Oh my God, you look great, this is Wooderson, this is exactly who I hoped you’d be’,” he says.

The rom-com actor wasn’t meant to film as much as he did, and there was an extra scene Linklater asked him to do, involving a drive-through. Essentially, David is going to try it on with the girl serving him. It was McConaughey’s first time on camera, and there was no script for this moment.

YouTube Thumbnail

“Am I nervous? Damn right, I’m nervous,” he says. “So I’m thinking, ‘Who is Wooderson? Who is my man? You know, what’s he about?’ And I tell myself, ‘Wooderson’s about four things: he’s about cars, weed, rock ‘n’ roll, and chicks’.”

Music, weed, and a nice automobile are call covered, and that leaves one thing left. “At this point I hear over the intercom, ‘Action!’” he adds. “And I look up across the drive-through at this red headed intellectual and I say to myself, ‘Buddy, you got three out of four. Alright, alright, alright!’”

Cinematic history is made. Check out our new movies guide for more upcoming classics, or keep it real with our list of the best ’90s TV shows.