Dazed and Confused, at its heart, is a movie about high school kids whining and being stoned for 90 minutes, and yet it still managed to become one of the biggest cult hits of the ‘90s and launched the careers of both Matthew McConaughey and Ben Affleck, which is a dubious but undeniable distinction. This is even more noteworthy considering that just about every member of the cast treated it like one extended teenage fuck party. And no, the cast of Dazed and Confused didn’t bother to sober up once the cameras started rolling. They figured the best way for their characters to appear stoned was to actually be stoned, because when you’re making a film about ultra-high teenagers, authenticity is everything.
The craziness started before the movie even began filming, when McConaughey managed to get cast without even knowing he was auditioning. He just happened to run into the casting director at a bar, and the two got along so well that they wound up getting kicked out for being too loud and rowdy, officially marking the first time that people in a public setting became tired of Matthew McConaughey.
Those not fortunate enough to run into the casting director at a hotel bar had to earn their stripes at the “casting pizza party,” a free-for-all where all the potential actors were gathered together to try out for just about every role. One part of the audition process involved pairing the actors off and having them make out with each other, because this is a critical part of the storytelling process. According to Jason London, who was eventually cast in the lead, he and every other guy got to make out with “like, three different girls each.”