UPDATE (11 a.m. ET): McConaughey’s reps told The Huffington Post the actor’s comments on Trump were made while on a press tour promoting his current film, “Gold,” prior to the inauguration and the controversial immigration ban enacted since then.
EARLIER: Matthew McConaughey’s recent interview on his new movie “Gold” may not sit all right, all right, all right with many.
During a recorded sit-down chat with U.K.’s ChannelFI ― which has since been taken down from YouTube ― the interviewer first suggested the film is about “redneck America sticking one up to the snotty East Coast and the elites” before directly asking McConaughey for his views on Donald Trump.
“Every single American actor or arty type who comes over to London dumps on Trump. You all completely hate him. Do you think it’s time that maybe Hollywood and the cultural elite of America gave this guy a break?” the interviewer asked the actor.
“They don’t have a choice now. He’s our president,” McConaughey responded, before launching into a longer response:
It’s very dynamic, and as divisive of an inauguration and time that we’ve ever had. At the same time, it’s time for us to embrace, shake hands with this fact and be constructive with him over the next four years, so anyone, even those who most strongly may disagree with his principles or things he’s said and done, which we’ll see what he does compared to what he had said, no matter how much you’ve even disagreed along the way, it’s time to think about how constructive can you be because he’s our president for the next four years at least. President of the United States.
McConaughey’s comments about being “constructive” appear to echo the same sentiment as actress Zoe Saldana, who, despite being critical of Trump during the election, has since talked about staying in the United States and trying to push forward. Earlier in January, Saldana said she’d “wait and see” what happens, which matches up with McConaughey’s statement of seeing what Trump “does compared to what he said.”
While the pair seem to be on the same page, many of their fellow actors are not, especially after the recent and controversial executive order ― restricting immigration and travel from certain predominantly Muslim countries ― was enacted. The ban has sparked new protests and outrage, and has led to devastating stories around the country.
McConaughey’s wife, Camila Alves, is an immigrant herself, moving to America from Brazil when she was 15. She became a U.S. citizen in 2015.
As People noted, at the time that the news gained traction, it was unclear if McConaughey spoke to ChannelFI before or after Trump signed the executive order on Friday. The actor’s reps have since told HuffPost the comments were made before the inauguration.