For six million dollars did you even have a trailer to go back to?
Matthew McConaughey: "Well I had the one I was living in, you know, and so that was it. Yes, no actually I didn’t have a trailer, I had my trailer. Nobody really had a trailer. But there were those little honey wagons, yes, little one room thing."
Robb Bindler: "It was a pretty ambitious script, too. I mean it’s not like a little Sundance movie and it all takes place inside someone’s apartment. This is several locations, weather challenges, in the water, out of the water, moving shots. There were a lot of setups for the money we had, the days we had."
I'm sure the water shots themselves could have taken up many more days, if you'd had the money.
Matthew McConaughey: "Yes, but we had a really good water unit. Keith Malloy doubled me so that's why I look like I can really surf good. That's Keith Malloy."
Did you do any of it yourself?
Matthew McConaughey: "Yes, I got a couple of shots in there."
What a fun job you have.
Matthew McConaughey: "Oh it was great, yes."
I saw there were some more McConaugheys in the credits. How were your family members involved?
Matthew McConaughey: "Well this whole production was a real family affair starting with our friendship in '85 to my producing partners that I've known since 1991. I'm still working with today. To my brother Rooster helped out, my nephew helped out, my mom was always kind of there helping out. We had a lot of thank yous to all of our family members because again we didn’t have, it wasn’t a big studio project that we just had them been bankrolling the thing. So this was more like door-to-door sales. We had to go run around town to try and get the money and then to get it made we had, get people to work for scale."
How tough was that to do? A lot of your co-stars are your friends.
Matthew McConaughey: "Well that helped that I had relationships, like with Woody [Harrelson] and then with Willie [Nelson]. And then with Scott Glenn, who actually had read the script and called us interested in playing the part."
I was wondering how he got involved.
Matthew McConaughey: "He actually chased it. He came after it and wanted to play the part, yes. It was something different than he’d ever done before."
Robb Bindler: "He had a place down in Baja where the character actually was set. He had a place for about 20 years, where he was off the grid. So Scott and Woody and Willie on top of it, they were digging the absurdity of the project. It was something kooky to do that they hadn’t maybe done. They all have a connection to the green movement or conservation movement."
Matthew McConaughey: "It’s a very planet-friendly film, you know? So Woody and Willie and Scott Glenn are all connected to different ways of conservation and the environment, so there was something thematically they dug. Plus it was just the pallet. I mean it was a bunch of fun characters and a bunch of sort of mystical misfits, you know?"
Was that green theme the reason why you wanted to do it so bad, or what was it?
Matthew McConaughey: "No, that was more of the byproduct. The messages in the movies were, we weren’t trying to preach. We’re not preaching in the movie. I mean we just thought that we could have this really cool throwback to the '70s surf flick about a summer without waves with a really organic lead character who leads the most simple life you could imagine, and how does that life get complicated? Well, when the one thing that he loves is taken away – the wave. So within that we said, 'What are out solutions?' So we didn’t want it to be too serious but we just said, 'Okay, one solution - stickers.' Well, there's a hoot. The other solution is goats. That's a hoot, but it’s true. So we wanted out sort of green things to be sort of slight of hand, all done with a wink, but yet it is practical."
How did you manage to find the right tone and not preach?
Robb Bindler: "I don't know. I was reminded of this Bob Marley quote and it said, he said people go, 'You know, you've got all these socially relevant themes and ideas in your music…' And he goes, 'Well I prefer to come with love, levity and music instead of hammer and fist.' I think we endeavored to couch everything with a sort of absurdity instead of just coming straight out and saying, 'Hey this is what the themes in this movie are about.'"
Matthew McConaughey: "Yeah, it’s not The Inconvenient Truth, obviously. And it’s thrown in the middle of this surf world, surf Caddyshack culture with these misfit characters who take themselves very sincerely. That's where part of the comedy comes from because they're really taking it seriously, but what is it they're taking seriously? Our lead character’s going nuts because he can't get a wave, not because he lost someone in his family or he’s got an illness. I mean because he can't get wave."
Robb Bindler: "And these guys aren’t necessary like, you know, with the goats, they're not talking about the thematic environmental underpinnings. You know what I mean? It's just a kooky idea. They’re not talking about, 'Oh, we won't be using petroleum products. We won't be polluting.'"
Matthew McConaughey: "We're not saying any of that."
Robb Bindler: "That's just all there and the characters just sort of fall into these kooky scenarios, so that's one way we avoided it."
Matthew McConaughey: "This thing was never meant to be a serious sort of, 'Here's what you should do.' No. We just wanted to, we loved the idea of what do you do, what's a surfer do and the community do if they’ve gone 56 days with no waves. Well in that way it's the anti-surf flick, you know? The surf waves come at the beginning and the end, but other than that it's how do you navigate life, how do you surf life when whatever that thing is that you love to do is taken away from you. And everyone can relate to that. That's not necessarily a straight surf movie, you know?"