Academy Award winning actor Matthew McConaughey says his latest movie, Free State of Jones, a Civil War epic, has made him “honored” to be an American.
“America turns the page and evolves quicker than most places historically,” McConaughey said in a recent interview with the Daily Beast. “In that way I’m inspired, and it makes me happy to be, and honored, to be an American.”
“I’m not saying everything is just as they should be. But our ambition and our diligence to march forward for change, to test it out, to not give in to every new idea. … Where do we hang onto tradition, and where do we progress with new ideas, and ones that will hopefully stand the test of time?”
In Free State of Jones, McConaughey plays a poor farmer from Mississippi who risks everything and leads a group of black anti-slavery rebels against the Confederate army.
The official trailer for the film was released last January:
The True Detective star says the film and the history behind it gave him an optimism, and he talked to his three kids about the history behind his latest movie.
“Taking my children to set, telling them the story— trying to find a way to tell the story to young kids when I get home every night and before work in a way that they can understand it, and then hearing the questions that they had,” McConaughey said, “Taking my children to set and saying, ‘This is a horrible thing, but it’s true. And you know what, the truth burns. But I’d rather us talk about some really ugly scars in our history that are still relevant today than you go play Call of Duty and shoot a bunch of people in a video game.”
“We want to expect the best in everyone but we have to understand that we all have good and bad in us, and these are some times when we’ve made mistakes, there are some things where people were just wrong, and this is how we’ve improved and are still evolving,” he continued. “This is a situation that you will be handed and which will be more evolved when you get to it.”
Free State of Jones was directed by Gary Ross (The Hunger Games) and co-stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Concussion) and Mahershala Ali (House of Cards). It opens in theaters June 24.