Move over, Matthew. Michael “Rooster” McConaughey -- yes, the Oscar winner's older brother -- is the big man in Texas and the new star of the Shark Tank-inspired CNBC reality series, West Texas Investors.
Taking place deep in the heart of the Lone Star State, self-made mutli-millionaires, McConaughey and Butch Gilliam, are passing on their experience and success to young entrepreneurs, who hope to win these new investors over not only with their pitch, but their personality.
Each week, McConaughey, Gilliam and their close friend, Gil Prather, will invite contestants down to their town for an experience -- whether it be camping, hunting, or drinking beer -- that will test their character and determine if they have what it takes to do business with these Texans. (Watch an exclusive clip from the premiere above!)
Ahead of the series premiere, McConaughey talked to ETonline about what it takes to get him to invest in a business, how his nickname came to be, and his offer to Republican presidential candidate hopeful, Donald Trump.
ETonline: What do you hope people learn about your world and what it is you do?
Rooster McConaughey: We have a different way. We want to show how you can have a good time doing this stuff, for one thing. Business doesn’t have to be all serious all the time. And we want to show how you get to know the people -- I would really like people to understand that the person is so much more important than a lot of things that you see on these shows. Everything’s about the deal, but we focus mainly on the person.
The heart of our show is the person versus the deal. If we don’t get down with the person, I don’t care what kind of deal they got… There’s been a deal -- we were going to take it, but we weren’t going to let the person run it. But he didn’t go for it so we didn’t do it.
What’s the biggest mistake people make when starting a new business?
So many people just have an idea. They’ve got this belief they can just run down the street -- in some cases they can -- and throw an idea out there and if it makes it, everybody makes it and if it loses, the guy with the money, he loses. And they got this thought, ‘Well he’s got money. It doesn’t make any difference. Hell, he’ll make it back as along as it didn’t hurt me…’
You got to work to do these deals and you’ve got to take chances. And a lot of them don’t want to take chances and they don’t think they have to have any skin in the game. If you’re going to present something to me and Butch, you got to be willing to take a chance and we really want you to have skin in the game.
Of the three, you, Butch, and Gil, who is the toughest business partner?
I’m more of an optimist than Butch, I’ll tell you that! They kind of have to hold the reins on me a little bit. We’ve got this little saying -- he gets on me -- I go, ‘Hell, Butch, one good deal will pull out four bad ones.’ And he’s always like, ‘Why do we have to have four bad ones?’ I’m more of a risk-taker than he is. We use Gil -- he's the one that spends so much time with the person -- he’ll come to us and say, ‘This is the one. You may not understand the deal, but this is the guy.’ We lean toward him and use him a lot to help figuring out the guy.
Your show is being described as Shark Tank meets Duck Dynasty. Is that a fair description?
Well, I guess it ain’t a bad one. Those are two damn good shows, I guess I ought to say so. I take it as a compliment. We’re definitely not Shark Tank characters!
Does Matthew make a cameo on the show?
Don’t know, don’t know. Hell, I just hope he watches it! I haven’t had the call.
You two did The Newton Boys together. Have you asked Matthew to make another cameo in one of his films?
No. He’s doing his deal and he told me to go have fun doing mine.
Explain the nickname “Rooster.”
Oh, hell… It was a beer drinking contest I was having with a guy -- he said he could outdrink me -- and it went on until about four in the morning. Back then, I had -- this is about the ‘70s -- I had a spike haircut, before punk rock was out, and I got up at the same time every morning -- even if I was in an elevator shaft. I did a little jig at the time -- I still do it. At four ’clock in the morning, we lay down and he says, ‘Hey man, I need an alarm.’ And I was like, ‘You know me. I wake up at daylight.’ Well, about nine in the morning he had to be somewhere and at 8:50, I went and tapped him on the shoulder and said, ‘God dang, you better get up or you’re going to be late.’ He looked at his watch and said, ‘You rooster motherf****er.’ From then on, it just stuck.
And Robert Duvall, he calls you ‘Pecker Head.’
Yeah, yeah. That’s his original line. I didn’t give him that. But that’s probably the best one. He still thinks I am!
In the trailer for the show, you make a joke about your bottom line being ahead of Donald Trump’s and I was just curious what you think about him running for president.
I hope he watches the show too! He might like it. Hell, he’d be a good one to be on there.
You two certainly might clash on the show.
That’d be great. That’s what makes it good. My personality clashes with a lot of people, but some of them are my best friends.
West Texas Investors premieres on Tuesday, Aug. 4 at 10 p.m. on CNBC.