Matthew McConaughey is not your normal movie star. When a “normal” movie star comes to town, they get put up in a nice hotel and do interviews from the comfort of a hotel suite or conference room. To promote his newest movie, McConaughey has been traveling across the country in a trailer as part of a six week promotional tour. When he came to the Philadelphia area the week before spring break, he was camped out at a trailer park in New Jersey in the cold. The movie that is causing McConaughey to do this is “Sahara,” which also stars Steve Zahn, and McConaugheyʼs girlfriend, Penelope Cruz. But the idea to actually go cross country was the brainchild of Mc- Conaughey and his business partner. The two men were talking and McConaughey told him that he was planning on going to the open road in order to relax. Then his partner brought up the idea. “He goes, ʻWhat if you got out and campaigned ʻSaharaʼ,ʼ” McConaughey recalled. “Later on that night I was like ʻYea, we could wrap up my airstream [trailer] and we could wrap it with the Sahara billboard.ʼ”
During the course of the six weeks, he started by being Grand Marshall at Daytona and even kept a blog online at mtv. com. There were also problems such as breaking down and getting stuck in the snow upon reaching Maryland. The trip isnʼt work for Mc- Conaughey because he says he would be doing it anyway. “I get to do what I would be doing on my own time, anyway, and I am promoting a product that I worked hard on,” he says. “I am trying to merge the polarization instead of having it be a contradiction…I am trying to make a life of my living, making a living with my life.”
In “Sahara” which is based on a book by Clive Clussler, the actor plays Dirk Pitt. Mc- Conaughey, who also produces the film, has been chasing the role of Dirk for seven years. If things go as planned, his work will pay off by turning the role into a series of films. “Itʼs set up to be a franchise, but to be honest, itʼs going to be up to the people who go see it, if people go see it and it makes some money,” McConaughey said. From the way the actor talks, though, he shouldnʼt have to worry about not having another job anytime soon.
“The best advertising we have going for this movie is the movie. Every trailer, as good as they can be, isnʼt as good as the movie,” he said.
In the meantime, there are other projects for the actor to keep busy with. McConaughey and Cruz have signed on to make another film together, “The Loop.”
“Itʼs a quirky misfit love story with a parrot,” he says, before explaining, “The parrot is in the middle. Thatʼs part of the mystery. We start tracking down the history of this parrot.