Matthew McConaughey joins Moody College of Communication faculty

Laura Morales

Actor and UT alumnus Matthew McConaughey is joining the faculty of the Moody College of Communication as a film professor of practice starting this semester. 

He was appointed by Jay Bernhardt, dean of the Moody College of Communication, to be a professor of practice, which is a faculty member who is qualified to teach based on professional experience. McConaughey has served as a visiting instructor since 2015 for the Script to Screen film production class for upper-division film students. McConaughey will now be teaching the course this semester alongside film professor Scott Rice. 

“It’s the class I wish I would have had when I was in film school,” McConaughey said in press release. “Working in the classroom with these students gives me a chance to
prepare them.” 

As a visiting professor, McConaughey has provided materials from his movies such as storyboards, script drafts and budgets to aid his teaching. He also brings in well-known film directors to talk to students. 

This semester, the Script to Screen class will be studying the films “Mud,” directed by Jeff Nichols, and “The Gentlemen,” directed by Guy Ritchie. 

“That is how the class is really groundbreaking,” Rice said. “We study films that no one has seen yet. He really thought about what the class should be down to the tiniest detail. The fact that he is able to get these filmmakers to be part of the class is a really big deal too.”

Noah Isenberg, the chair of the Department of Radio-Television-Film, said although McConaughey is an international celebrity, he takes the time to work with students in his class.

“I am very pleased with his level of devotion and excitement about the class and the level of experience he brings,” Isenberg said.

UT alumna Marisela Campos said she took McConaughey’s class in spring 2017. Because McConaughey was working on “White Boy Rick” at the time, Campos said he sent in lecture videos and visited occasionally. Campos said she got more access to the film industry in McConaughey’s class than in any of her other classes.

“He was the reason why we were able to study ‘Mud’ in the detail that we did,” Campos said. “A lot of those materials were confidential. Jeff Nichols would not send his first script drafts to anyone. But because it was Matthew’s class, we got to see the first draft all the way up to his final drafts.”