It’s a bright and breezy March evening outside the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California. Amidst a sea of flashing lights, expensive dresses and overly-cheerful correspondents from the E! Network, one man stands and waits. Matthew McConaughey. Outwardly, he looks calm, he always looks calm, but on the inside he is restless. He has waited for so long. No one has worked harder than he to end up on this red carpet tonight. They say it is DiCaprio’s time, but they do not know. He knows what they thought of the old Matthew, how they laughed at his failure to launch. They do not laugh anymore. Tonight, he thinks to himself, the masses will see Matthew McConaughey win the Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club and his redemption will be complete. They will trample each other to get aboard his bandwagon, tweeting that they always knew how good he was, how they had seen The Lincoln Lawyer, Mud and Killer Joe ages ago and not in the immediate aftermath of his Best Actor win.
Once inside, there is electricity in the air. Matthew squirms in his seat, so close now to his moment of glory. He looks to his left, a few seats over he sees Christian Bale. Bale nods, an intense look in his eyes, but distinct from the usual intense look in his eyes in that this one seems to be a look of respect. We survived Reign of Fire-it seems to say-we deserve this, you or me. Matthew does not nod back. They are on opposite sides of the battlefield.
Finally they get to awarding Best Actor. Julia Roberts takes the podium.
“This year, each of the nominees for Best Actor has brought to the big screen some of the most inspired and harrowing work that we’ve ever seen in this category.” Matthew was sure they said this every year. As she awkwardly follows the teleprompter, Matthew sweats. He has waited long enough. At last the acknowledgement he deserves. He cannot wait much longer.
“Christian Bale, American Hustle….Bruce Dern, Nebraska…Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street…Chiwetol Ejiofer, 12 Years A Slave…Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club” Is it his imagination, or was the applause a little higher there at the end?
“And the Oscar goes to”- That electricity in the air, it isn’t just flowery language, it is real. A deafening crackle engulfs the hall as bright blue light shines right above Julia, sparks flying in every direction. The very fabric of space appears to be torn apart as a portal emerges and out from it steps a man. A loud gasp comes from the audience. Matthew sighs. Why now, he thinks to himself. The figure has the unkempt beard and jittery disposition of a man long since kept in captivity. But there can be no mistaking those washboard abs. The figure points at Matthew McConaughey and shouts, in a garbled manner that undercuts the moment;
“That fella right there is an imposter! I’m the real Matthew McConaughey, guys! He kept me prisoner in an alternate dimension!”
All eyes are on Matthew at this point. He stands up, lazily rubs his manly stubble with one hand and with a laid-back, roguish smile said “Hell, I ain’t gonna deny it.”
“My name is Matthew McConaughey-2 and I come from a little old place called Earth-2. It’s what you might call a uh, alternate dimension, man. A world exactly like your own but uh, all the actors are, much more talented, you feel me? And honestly it’s been a real struggle for me there to uh, get recognition. I mean, can you imagine a world were Daniel Day-Lewis is an even better actor? His acting is so good it uh, literally caused world peace. Even in another universe you make it too hard for the rest of us man!” he says pointing at Daniel Day-Lewis-Prime, who throws up his hands in a “my bad” gesture. Everybody laughs.
“Nah I’m just funning with you man. Well anyways, I figured I had to do something about it. So I did a little movie where I played a brilliant scientist and I uh, acted so well in it that I actually knew how to be a brilliant scientist and a built a machine that could open portals to other dimensions. And when I saw what your Matthew McConaughey was doing I was like, ‘hey, not cool man’. I mean, on the one hand he is devilishly handsome, but on the other hand, man, uh, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past man! So you know, I did what I had to do. I kidnapped your Matthew McConaughey, kept him in my dimension where his acting skills would be so lazy and sub-par that he would be imprisoned for life and uh, assumed his identity. I mean it might have been wrong but hell, you can’t argue with the results, am I right?” he finishes, shrugging.
Silence from the crowd. They do not contest these fantastical claims. They appear to be the only explanation. They look at the original Matthew, then to Matthew-2, then back again. Wordlessly, expressions blank, they rise to their feet. Walking up to the stage, surrounding the real Matthew McConaughey.
“Hey guys, heh, what’s going on?” he asks, before Julia Roberts whacks him over the head with her shoe, knocking him to the ground. The crowd of actors beat Original-Matthew mercilessly, ignoring his cries for “help, man”. Jennifer Lawrence produces a blade and slits Original-Matthews throat as the actors pick his body up and throw him back into the portal, as it closes behind him. Forever.
The public never discovers the truth.
Oh, also Gravity wins Best Sound Mixing.