Guy Ritchie returns to his roots in new film 'The Gentlemen'

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Guy Ritchie, the director of the new movie, "The Gentlemen," returns to his roots, enlisting Matthew McConaughey to play a marijuana farmer on a grand scale.

"Sweet Mary Jane is my vice," McConaughey's character Mikey observes. "You could say there's blood on these pretty white hands."

They are not "Gentlemen" in the traditional sense of the word, unlike some of the characters the star has played.

"I hadn't done anything like this before," McConaughey admitted to me during our talk at The Whitby Hotel in Midtown Manhattan. "And I also wanted to be in this type of Guy Ritchie film."

McConaughey was referring to the film that made a name for Ritchie, "Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels."

"I wanted to be in, to play in that playground with Guy as the director," he said.

The actor added that playing with Ritchie is a lot like hard work because the only constant is constant change.

"Guy re-writes not only on the day but in the moment, and that can be really frustrating until you realize that most of his re-writes are better than the original, then it's like, oh, I gotta try and make that work," McConaughey said.

Michelle Dockery plays his wife, who is described as a "Cockney Cleopatra," who is not at all like Lady Mary from "Downton Abbey."

The actress explained that one of the reasons she agreed to play the part was that "I welcomed the chance to do something quite different."

Charlie Hunam plays a low-key supporting part as Mikey's right-hand-man.

"There's definitely an added challenge of being quiet in a scene, you know, being an observer in a scene and still being engaged and somehow making your participation compelling," Hunam said.

Henry Golding ("Crazy Rich Asians") usually plays the romantic lead, not a crook to take over a territory. His first scene was his most intense, trying to get the best of McConaughey's character.

"It was scary," he said. "But fulfilling."

Hugh Grant made a name for him playing dashing guys in romantic comedies like "Four Weddings and a Funeral," but here he's a sleazy blackmailer.

"It has been a great relief and quite cathartic in recent years to be more revolting," he joked.

Grant is playing "against type," that is playing a part different from the type of roles that made him famous, and it is fun for the audience. How much fun is what I will get when I review, "The Gentlemen."

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