Over two decades before the McConaissance took Hollywood by storm, or Richard Linkater’s Boyhood swept the Golden Globes, the two Texans teamed up for what Quentin Tarantino has called the greatest movie of the nineties. Unleashed on an unsuspecting America in February, 1993, Dazed and Confused introduced audiences to a who’s-who of “that guy”s and “that girl”s: Adam Goldberg, Anthony Rapp, Cole Howser, Jason London, Joey Lauren Adams, Marissa Ribisi. Oh, and Ben Affleck, Parker Posey, Renee Zellweger, and a drawling, crinkly-eyed McConaughey as Wooderson.
In Maxim’s oral history of the movies, Linklater recalled the U.T. acting student’s screen test: “Matthew said, ‘I’m not that guy, but I know that guy.’”
When he spoke to us last fall, McConaughey had nothing but good memories of the experience. “You know why Wooderson was cool?” he asked.“He was who he was. He wasn’t trying to be anyone else, and he wasn’t selling himself to anybody. Live and let live. Do your thing, and I’ll do mine.”
And, he might have added, just keep livin’. Courtesy of the Criterion Collection, behold the birth of Wooderson:
PS: Nice t-shirt.
Photos by The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty Images