Matthew McConaughey is publicly crediting Trisha Yearwood for giving him a break that transformed his acting career. In a new interview, the Oscar-winning actor acknowledges the country superstar for giving him a pivotal role in her now-classic video for “Walkaway Joe,” which helped launch his career.
Yearwood and her husband, Garth Brooks, served as guest hosts on Ellen on Friday (May 28), and they welcomed McConaughey virtually as a guest during the episode. The Texas native scored one of his earliest starring roles in Yearwood’s video for “Walkaway Joe,” which she released in 1992.
“Walkaway Joe” was Yearwood’s second single from her sophomore Hearts in Armor album in 1992. Eagles singer Don Henley sang backing vocals on the track, which gave Yearwood a No. 2 hit on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart.
“I want to thank you because I’ve never had the chance to publicly thank you … for being in the video for “Walkaway Joe.” It’s been almost 25, 30 years ago now!” Yearwood says in the video below, where McConaughey responds, “Over 30 years and we’re finally — Yes, I remember this very well” (quote via People).
“I always tell everybody that this was one of your first things that you did and that I basically gave you a career and now you’re way more famous than me,” Yearwood says with a laugh “But do you have any memory of doing that? Because we were not in the same place. You were in Austin and I was in Nashville.”
“I remember I was wearing a pager at the time, because I remember I was in school at the University of Texas and anytime that pager would go off, and they’d say, ‘Can you get to San Antonio and audition for this beer commercial or this music video?'” he recalls.
“I’d bam! Out of class. I’m out of here, trying it out. Well, I was about 0 for 18, and then I got the pager came on to come try out for this video, and I got that one,” McConaughey says.