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Matthew McConaughey loved suits in ‘The Gentlemen’ — so he stole them

NEW YORK — Matthew McConaughey loved the duds his sharp-dressed weed dealer wears in The Gentlemen. So much so that he did one thing when shooting wrapped — he swiped them.

“I got away with it,” McConaughey says, laughing in a midtown Manhattan hotel. “They were custom-made for me,” he explains. “They aren’t going to fit anyone else. I thought, ‘I’m taking those with me.’”

Playing an American expat drug dealer who has built a marijuana empire in England, McConaughey’s Mickey Pearson is looking to sell his business and exit the criminal life.

“I’m king of the jungle, and I’m ready to sell it for a fair price and fade out,” says McConaughey, who a decade ago traded rom-coms for more challenging fare that won him an Oscar for 2013’s Dallas Buyers Club.

But this being a Brit gangster romp coming to us courtesy of writer-director Guy Ritchie (Snatch, Lock, Stock andTwo Smoking Barrels, RocknRolla), packing up his things and sailing off into the sunset isn’t going to be a slam dunk for Mickey.

“In this world, no one pays a fair price,” McConaughey muses. “So I have to get up and bite somebody.”

Ritchie rounds out the rowdy crime caper with a bevy of conniving characters — played by Hugh Grant, Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong, Eddie Marsan and a track-suited Colin Farrell — all looking to take a piece of Mickey’s pie.

“This was the kind of Guy Ritchie film I wanted to be in,” McConaughey says. “This is the kind of sandbox I wanted to play with Guy Ritchie in. This is the kind of Guy Ritchie film that is very specific to him. You can see from trailer and go, ‘That looks like Lock, Stock (and Two Smoking Barrels).’ It’s the playground I wanted to play with him in … At the end of the movie, not everyone can remain standing and you don’t know who’s going to go or how they’re going to go, but you’re going to have a good time watching it.”

As it interweaves a myriad of different storylines, the audience is left wondering not only who’s going to win, but who the actual good guy is. “I remember going to Guy a couple of times, ‘I can see this changing from the original script. I just want to make sure: I still win in the end, right?’” McConaughey says with a chuckle.

Matthew McConaughey in a scene from The Gentlemen.

The surprises went all the way to the very last day of shooting, Hunnam adds. “We shot a couple of completely different endings,” he says.

For Grant, who plays Fletcher, a slithery investigative journalist trying to extort Mickey, the rambunctious action mirrored his real life. “I have five small children, so it was like home, really,” he says.

Grant’s history with Ritchie dates back to 2015’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E. reboot, in which he went unrecognizable in the role of Alexander Waverly.

His disappearing act continued, notably in Paddington 2 and Florence Foster Jenkins, and is on full display in The Gentlemen.

“I thought I was OK doing character parts,” Grant says. “It’s just no one ever gave them to me — especially after Four Weddings (and a Funeral).”

Hugh Grant, right, and Charlie Hunnam in The Gentlemen. Christopher Raphael/STX Films

Elsewhere, Dockery recounts how she relished going from the prim and proper Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey to playing Mickey’s wife, Rosalind.

“This was a really fun job,” she says. “Guy works in this way where you learn your lines and then you come onto set and he says, ‘Nah, we’re not going to do that’ … then he comes up with something even better than what’s on the page.”

Matthew McConaughey, right, and Michelle Dockery in The Gentlemen. Christopher Raphael/STX Films

But for a film dealing with an assortment of characters who are anything but gentle, the cast has trouble settling on a definition of what a true “gentleman” is.

Hunnam thinks it’s someone who “always endeavours to do the right thing.”

Grant smirks, and then offers up his take.

“A gentleman always punches up instead of punching down,” the 59-year-old says.

But it’s McConaughey, now 50 and a married father of three, who goes deep, distilling his own nugget of wisdom.

Suppose you have a funny story about someone, he floats aloud in that familiar Texas drawl. One that you know will bring the house down.

“How many times are you sitting around a table, like this one, and you know (if you tell it) you’re going to be the most popular guy at the table. You’re going to get the most laughs. But usually when that happens, people lose a little bit of respect for you. They’re left thinking, ‘That son of a bitch might tell (a) story about me at another dinner table.’

“A gentleman doesn’t do that.”

Just how a gentleman doesn’t reveal how he nicked eight suits at the end of a movie shoot. “When we’re off mic,” McConaughey says with a grin, “I’ll tell you some tricks.”

The Gentlemen is in theatres now.

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Supergirl star opens up about being a victim of domestic violence

Supergirl actress Melissa Benoist has opened up about her experience as a domestic violence victim.


Supergirl actress Melissa Benoist has opened up about her experience as a domestic violence victim in a hard-hitting new online video.

Benoist, who films The CW superhero TV series in Vancouver, has revealed she suffered months of abuse at the hands of a former partner before she called it quits on the toxic romance.

The 31-year-old, who is now happily married to Supergirl co-star Chris Wood, admits she never thought she’d be able to summon up the courage to tell her story as she kicks off the emotional 14-minute video, in which she reads a statement she prepared.

“I am a survivor of domestic violence or IPV (intimate partner violence), which is something I never in my life expected I would say, let alone be broadcasting into the ether,” Melissa says.

Melissa Benoist who stars in the Vancouver-shot TV series Supergirl.


Refusing to name her abuser, she calls him “a magnanimous person, who didn’t really give you a choice not to be drawn to him”, adding, “He could be charming, funny, manipulative, devious.”

“He was younger than me, his maturity obvious,” she adds. “For a period of time, I wasn’t interested. I was newly single, gaining my bearing in a change in my life.”

But she began to fall for the guy, insisting his abuse wasn’t violent at first, but emotional: “Work in general was a touchy subject,” she recalls. “He didn’t want me ever kissing or even having flirtatious scenes with men, which was very hard for me to avoid, so I began turning down auditions, job offers, test deals and friendships, because I didn’t want to hurt him.”

But things started to get nasty during one fight, when he threw a smoothie in her face.

“The stark truth is I learned what it felt like to be pinned down and slapped repeatedly, punched so hard the wind was knocked out of me, dragged by my hair across the pavement, head butted, pinched until my skin broke, shoved into a wall so hard the drywall broke, choked,” she says into the camera. “I learned to lock myself in rooms but quickly stopped because the door was inevitably broken down. I learned to not value any of my property … I learned not to value myself.”

The final straw came when her boyfriend threw an iPhone at her face and caused a permanent vision issue.

“The impact tore my iris, nearly ruptured my eyeball, lacerated my skin and broke my nose,” she adds. “My left eye swelled shut. I had a fat lip…”

She made the decision then and there to walk away from the relationship, but admits it wasn’t an easy thing to do: “I felt complicated feelings of guilt for leaving and for hurting someone I had protected for so long, and yes, a mournful feeling of leaving something familiar, but luckily, the people I let in, the more I was bolstered, I never lost the sense of clarity that kept telling me, ‘You do not deserve this’.”

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