A lot of people were shocked last week when they learned that accomplished actor and writer Sam Shepard had passed away.
Possibly none more so than his Mud co-star Matthew McConaughey. The actor actually wasn’t aware of Shepard’s passing until he was informed of it by a reporter on the red carpet of The Dark Tower. McConaughey is visibly taken aback by the news and isn’t sure how to react, but all of it was captured on video. Check it out.
While the loss of an actor and writer who had been working as long as Sam Shepard surely hit a lot of people hard, it’s rare to have a chance to see such a genuine response to the news like that. Matthew McConaughey says this is the first he’s heard of the actor’s death as the Associated Press reporter tells him. You can really see a variety of emotions hit him at once. His initial response is as much anger as it is shock. From there McConaughey searches for something to say. He’s afraid that standing on a red carpet talking about what he thought would make a good movie trailer could be interpreted as him making light of the situation, but it’s just the first thing that popped into his head. He hasn’t had any time to process the news.
Matthew McConaughey and Sam Shepard co-starred in the film Mud together in 2012.
The movie saw McConaughey as a fugitive from the law who befriends a couple of young boys. Shepard played a father figure to Mud, McConaughey’s character, who the boys go to for help. Shepard’s character refuses but explains to the boys who Mud is and what’s going on with him while sitting down in a green chair. It’s this scene that McConaughey says could have acted as the film’s trailer.
The other interesting thing we learn about Matthew McConaughey in this completely unscripted moment is how the actor sees life and death. He doesn’t say anything about Sam Shepard having died, or passed away. Instead, McConaughey refers to Shepard having “moved on.” He actually says it twice. It’s clear that he believes that Shepard didn’t just leave us, but went someplace else, someplace McConaughey believes he will see Shepard again, as he says at the end of the clip…
”We lost one of the great ones. Great writer, great mind. Huh…alright. See ya in the next one Sam.”
For those that knew him the death of Sam Shepard is obviously going to be painful. For those of us who only got to watch him work, we still lost a great talent. He truly was one of the great ones, you only need to review his extensive professional career to see that.