In Variety's 2016 ‘actors on actors’ interview of Matthew McConaughey (around 19 mins), he tells an anecdote wherein he arrived on set having not learnt a 4 page monologue in Spanish.

He says his intention was to improvise and base his performance in the scene on what he knew about the character, rather than following the script, but of course, this can't be done with a monologue.

He refuses to mention the name of the film, which makes me wonder whether this story is exaggerated or entirely made up. Can his story be confirmed?


1 Answer 1


The film is Scorpion Spring from 1995.

According to this article from December 2016:

McConaughey followed up with a doozy of a story from his 1995 film Scorpion Spring.

"I had this idea that I need to go back like I did in my first film, where I just knew my man, and I would show up and just play the circumstances - improvise,” he explained.

“So I said, “I’m not going to read the script. Just tell me the character, tell me the situation, and I’ll show up, and I’ll just react and do what I would do.

“So I show up on set, we’re about to do the scene, and I said, “You know what? Since I know my man, let me just have a peek at these sides real quick.” I pick it up: four-page monologue … in Spanish.”

It seems that Matthew McConaughey did not have an issue mentioning the film and the story in other interviews. Here is an excerpt from a 2013 interview with the Hollywood Reporter where he names the movie:

I go do this film, Scorpion Spring, and I got this idea: "I'm not gonna look at anything. I know what I am: the drug lord on the Mexican border in Texas. I'll just show up on the set, stay fresh and loose." Well, I get down there, OK, and I pick up this scene, and it's a page-and-a-half monologue in Spanish.

  • Does he speak Spanish, does he in this film? I can't fathom improvising the part, let alone in Spanish.
    – user25738
    Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 22:25
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    @SiXandSeven8ths According to the video that OP posted, he said that he asked for some time to go over the script after he saw that the dialogue in question was in Spanish and it didn't work and he needed more time. There's no script info on this movie that I could find earlier while researching this question. It was not well received, there's just not a lot more information on it aside from watching the movie, which OP and anyone else is welcome to do now that they know what movie it is :) Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 22:51
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    So in the recent interview he says 4 pages and in another he said 1.5 pages. I can’t find the script online. Anyone can confirm which one it actually is?
    – JamalS
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 5:08
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    I'll bet it was the lessor, those actors love to embellish stories. It's sort of what they do for a living. Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 14:29
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    @SiXandSeven8ths - I think that's kind of the point of the story.... he does not know Spanish that well, so his idea to "wing it" was a complete failure. It's a self-deprecating story about how his own artistic hubris made him look foolish, it seems. Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 19:45

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