Matthew McConaughey on the British laws that confused him in 'The Gentlemen' (exclusive)

Tom Beasley
Contributor

Matthew McConaughey has revealed he was baffled by British land laws while reading the script for Guy Ritchie’s gangster thriller The Gentlemen.

The 50-year-old actor portrays American expat Mickey Pearson, who has built a formidable marijuana empire in London.

British stately homes play a key role in his business, which meant McConaughey had to familiarise himself with an odd quirk of British law.

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When asked which elements of UK culture confused him whole making the film, he told Yahoo Movies UK that “land laws” presented a problem.

“I think a lot of how the estates work and that whole riff I go on about how you can't have the private land — the right to roam and such,” he said.

McConaughey’s co-star Hugh Grant chipped in to ask how the law — which enshrines certain private land as fair game for ramblers to walk through — was different in the United States.

Michelle Dockery and Matthew McConaughey in 'The Gentlemen'. (Credit: EFD)

Grant asked: “If you've got a piece of land and I walk over it saying I'm just interested in the birds and the snails, you'll shoot me?”

“You don't wanna do that in Texas,” McConaughey added. “It's possible you won't make it off the property.”

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McConaughey grapples with British vernacular throughout the movie, with his first line of dialogue featuring him ordering “a pint and a pickled egg” in a pub.

Colin Farrell and Charlie Hunnam in 'The Gentlemen'. (Credit: EFD)

The actor said there was an energy to a Guy Ritchie set that it was important for the cast to bring along with them.

He added: “[Guy] loves to throw surprises, loves to throw line changes and change up actions in the moment. He doesn't like to talk about them beforehand at all.

“So there's a certain agility and energy that one must bring and just inherently have in the scene.”

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The Gentlemen marks Ritchie’s return to the gangster crime thriller, years after he achieved great success with Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch.

The cast also includes Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery and Colin Farrell.

The Gentlemen will be released into cinemas on 1 January, 2020.