News of the beloved actor, director and playwright’s death reached his former co-star Matthew McConaughey on Monday, while the “Dark Tower” lead was making red carpet rounds for his upcoming film.
Asked by an Associated Press reporter for his reaction to Shepard’s passing, a shocked McConaughey responded candidly. “Sam Shepard moved on?” he asked. “Gosh damnit. From what?”
According to The New York Times, a spokesman for the family confirmed that the “Buried Child” writer died at his home in Kentucky on Thursday due to complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
“Look, I’m not going to trivialize that situation, I just heard about it for the first time,” McConaughey, who acted alongside Shepard in 2013′s “Mud,” told the AP. “But I always told [director] Jeff Nichols this: Look, in ‘Mud,’ the whole trailer for ‘Mud’ could be Sam Shepard sitting in that green chair telling the boy about who Mud is. It would be about a two-and-a-half minute trailer, but it would have been really badass.”
“We lost one of the great ones. Great writer, great mind,” he added, clearly still processing the news. “Alright, see you in the next one, Sam.”
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated the name of Shepard’s play “Buried Child” as “Buried Home.”