The 25th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival opened up in style with a massive honorary ceremony and celebration, recognizing various artists and their cinematic accomplishments this year. One actor who basked in the spotlight was Matthew McConaughey, who was presented the Desert Palm Achievement Award.
McConaughey has been blowing critics away recently after a string of celebrated performances, most noticeably in the acclaimed Dallas Buyers Club. The award was presented by friend and fellow actor Gary Oldman, who has been a Palm Springs acting honoree in the past.
Mary Hart, former host of Entertainment Tonight, was on hand at the ceremony to sing Happy Birthday to Bradley Cooper, and after the event she picked up the interviewing mic backstage and got back into the groove interviewing celebs for ET. She was able to catch up with McConaughey and Oldman backstage to discuss the long, difficult, and ultimately rewarding process of creating the Dallas Buyers Club.
"It doesn't matter if you're the biggest bankable star in Hollywood, there's a script that studios will go, 'No way am I doing that with you.' I'm not saying Dallas Buyers Club was one of those, but it was one of the ones that hung around and no one could get made, though they tried to for years," McConaughey told Hart.
When asked about the Oscar buzz surrounding the film, McConaughey said, "When you go to make a film, you're not thinking about the result. You're thinking about the process. The experience… and with this film, without an award like this… I already was gratified with the experience. Now this is like bonus time."
"Sometimes, also, you make things that you are personally proud of, and it doesn't catch," said Oldman. "The fire doesn't catch. And you think, 'What a shame. No one saw that.' There is a great deal of harmony involved with it. I mean a cosmic thing, sometimes. You've got great work, great actors, great material, and you gotta have luck. It's about luck as well."
Check out the video for more from backstage during the Palm Springs International Film Festival's opening-night celebration.