Matthew McConaughey Considered Quitting Acting During 2-Year Hiatus from Hollywood: 'It Was Scary'

Matthew McConaughey grew well known for starring in romantic comedies in the 2000s before he won an Academy Award in 2014 for 'Dallas Buyers Club'

<p>Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty</p> Matthew McConaughey on Jan. 11, 2024

Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty

Matthew McConaughey on Jan. 11, 2024

Matthew McConaughey is sharing how taking a hiatus from Hollywood helped him reinvent his career.

In a recent conversation with fellow Texas native Glen Powell for Interview magazine, McConaughey, 54, explained that he "had to leave Hollywood for two years" after he felt he started struggling to book roles outside of his roots in the romantic comedy genre.

"I’ve usually zigged when I felt like Hollywood wanted me to zag. When I had my rom-com years, there was only so much bandwidth I could give to those, and those were some solid hits for me," he said. "But I wanted to try some other stuff."

"Dude, it was scary. I had long talks with my wife about needing to find a new vocation," McConaughey added, after Powell, 35, asked what it felt like during his hiatus. The Academy Award winner recalled telling his wife Camila Alves McConaughey he was considering teaching high school, studying to conduct music or working as a "wildlife guide" during this period of time.

Related: Camila Alves McConaughey Reveals the Wise Relationship Advice Her Father Gave Her Before Meeting Husband Matthew

<p>Rick Kern/Getty Images</p> Camila Alves McConaughey and Matthew McConaughey on April 25, 2024

Rick Kern/Getty Images

Camila Alves McConaughey and Matthew McConaughey on April 25, 2024

"I honestly thought, 'I stepped out of Hollywood. I got out of my lane.' The lane Hollywood said I should stay in," he said. "And Hollywood’s like, 'Well, f--- you, dude. You should have stayed in your lane. Later.' "

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer​​, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. 

McConaughey first broke out in 1993's Dazed and Confused before settling into a run of rom-coms in the early 2000s, most notably costarring with Kate Hudson in 2003's How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. While McConaughey did not specify when his two-year hiatus took place, he is not credited with any on screen roles in 2007 and 2010. By 2013, he was starring in films like Dallas Buyers Club and The Wolf of Wall Street, the first of which earned him his Oscar in 2014.

Related: Glen Powell Calls Matthew McConaughey for Advice When He's 'Disoriented or Confused' About Fame (Exclusive)

<p>Gary Miller/Getty</p> Camila Alves McConaughey and Matthew McConaughey on Nov. 4, 2023

Gary Miller/Getty

Camila Alves McConaughey and Matthew McConaughey on Nov. 4, 2023

"It was scary. The days are long — the sense of insignificance," McConaughey told Powell. "But I made up my mind that that’s what I needed to do, so I wasn’t going to pull the parachute and quit the mission I was on. But it was scary, because I didn’t know if I was ever going to get out of the desert."

In May, Powell told The Hollywood Reporter that advice from McConaughey influenced his decision to permanently relocate to Austin as his primary residence after living in Los Angeles for more than 15 years. "He’s like, ‘Hollywood is the Matrix, man. You plug in and it’s all fake world,' " Powell recalled McConaughey telling him. "He’s like, ‘Then I go to Austin, and I unplug. It’s all real. Those are my friends, that’s my family, my actions matter there.' ” 

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.