He decided to reject any offer from the romantic comedy genre. He was out of work for 20 months. However, that is only one chapter of his life’s journey. One that includes great loves, great losses, and meaningful life lessons we can all benefit from. Get ready to read facts that will change your mind about the actor.
His Early Life Was Filled With Family Screaming
Matthew McConaughey was born on November 4, 1969. Growing up in Uvalde, Texas, Matthew’s family was led by Christian parents with high expectations. He had to follow rules like saying, “No, sir” and “Yes, ma’am.” The tough-love upbringing was hardcore, but he thrived in the family as the youngest of three brothers.
His father was a former footballer, later owning a gas station, and his mom was a teacher. There was a lot of screaming and yelling at home, but the way he describes it is that this was just their way of communicating. And it seemed to pay off in the long run.
His Father Was Drafted by the Green Bay Packers
Matthew McConaughey’s father was an aspiring professional football player who played college ball with the Kentucky Wildcats and the Houston Cougars. Born in Mississippi and raised in Louisiana, he hoped to play in the NFL. In 1953, it seemed to be in the cards as the Green Bay Packers drafted him. He was drafted 27th.
Unfortunately, Jim never played a single game professionally. The Packers released him before the season even began. Despite this, his passion for football passed on to Matthew and the actor ended up playing famous coach Jack Lengyel in the football biopic movie "We Are Marshall."
He’s Related to a Civil War Soldier
Matthew McConaughey is a true man of the South. He is a Lone Star native and speaks with a slight drawl that most people find charming. His southern roots date back centuries to a Civil War brigadier. He is General Dandridge McRae who is related on his father’s side.
The general was born in Alabama and lived in Baldwin County. His heritage is broad with parts of Irish, English, Scottish, German, Swedish, and Welsh. The McConaughey last name is from the Scottish side. And it seems like Matthew is very proud of his roots, no matter how far back they go.
He Was Little Mr. Texas
It was clear from very early on that Matthew McConaughey was destined for greatness and more specifically, awards. Matthew’s mom enlisted him for the Little Mr. Texas contest in Bandera when he was just 7 years old. He did well and walked away with a trophy.
His mom displayed a photo of him with his trophy on the kitchen wall and praised him every single day at breakfast saying, “Look at you, winner, Little Mr. Texas.” As an adult, he examined the trophy. It read, “Runner Up.” But his mom was resolute. She said the winning boy cheated and that he won because his wealthy family bought him a fancy suit.
He Was Voted Most Handsome
Long before Matthew McConaughey was crowned “Sexiest Man Alive,” he received an accolade for his appearance. In high school as a senior, the actor was not so surprisingly voted “Most Handsome.” It was Jimmy Fallon who dug up the high school yearbook from Uvalde and announced it to the public.
This was just after his Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Drama in “Dallas Buyers Club.” He suffered terrible acne in high school but still managed to win the title. He has also said he was dating the most beautiful girl at his high school. Now that's just darn impressive.
His Parents Were Disdainful
McConaughey thinks we should always “play like an underdog.” What he means, is that when going after something we want, we should give everything we have. If we put a ceiling on how successful we expect to be, we are restricting ourselves.
He says a roof, or a limit, is a man-made thing, so it is best to play with the underdog attitude in mind. He was also raised like an underdog — he did not get grounded by his parents, but he got a whooping. When he threatened to run away, his parents simply packed his bags for him.
He Lost His Mind in Rural Australia
At age 18, Matthew went on a student exchange trip. It was 1988 and it would be a life-changing experience. It was so significant he says he would not be the same person without having done it, and he would not have won his Academy Award without it. The time was traumatic; he said he lost his mind there.
He was lonely, working six jobs, and nothing was going his way. He endured the year's stay as if “treading water” to the finish line. That is how he describes it in his memoir. We've got more about that book to come!
A Law Degree
Even before Matthew McConaughey graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, he was thinking about his next move. Getting a law degree is prestigious, so he decided he was going to law school. He wanted to be a defense attorney. As you can see, he had many big dreams.
There were a couple of things that changed his path. First, his older brother came to him and said there were not enough funds to float a private law school. The other thing that changed his mind was that he realized he did not want to be a lawyer. He chose film school instead.
MM’s First Real Job
McConaughey’s first job in high school was at Oak Forest Country Club. His duty was raking sand traps on the golf course. He had 77 sand traps to rake by 7:30 a.m. and he had to get there around 3 a.m. when it was still dark. Not to worry, floodlights were provided.
The best part of the job was when his supervisor said there was an armadillo problem. The critters were doing damage munching on the greens. He got a 22 gun and a spotlight. From 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., he sniped armadillos. Now that's such a Matthew McConaughy story, if ever we read one.
The Luck of the Draw
McConaughey’s acting career kicked off by sheer luck. Prior to being cast in “Dazed and Confused,” his acting experience was very slight—a quick blip in a beer commercial, as he says it. So he was really green around this time, and purely had a charisma to get him by.
At U-T, where he was working on a degree in radio, television, and film, he had appeared in a few student films. He also directed a film short called “Chicano Chariots.” When he randomly met Don Phillips (the film’s casting director) at that hotel bar, that was the only experience he had.
McConaughey’s Parents Divorced Twice
But the point is, they loved each other very deeply. In “Greenlights,” he opened up about his childhood. His parents yelled and screamed; it was not a mellow household. His parents fought so much, verbally and physically, that they divorced twice. McConaughey looks to the love, though — they married each other three times.
It was a passionate relationship, without a doubt. His mom said it was not abusive. McConaughey agrees, he sees it as just their way of communicating. In his own household, however, he never raises his voice, it’s not a style of communication that works for him.
The Death of His Father
When Matthew McConaughey’s father died, it was a heart-wrenching experience. He had relied on his dad and suddenly, he was gone. His dad died before he could witness the actor’s success. It happened in 1993, just five days into the filming of “Dazed and Confused.”
But, in true Matthew McConaughey style, he took the pain it caused and made it constructive. He said it forced him to “man up.” He even questions if he would have had the success he has if his father was still alive today. The impact it had was to give him some courage and integrity.
The Wild Story About How McConaughey’s Father Died
When Jim McConaughey died, his son was off at college. He was 23 years old and only five days into filming “Dazed and Confused.” In “Greenlights” McConaughey opened up about that time and looked back. He was shocked to get the news as his dad wasn’t that old. The chance of a 50-year-old man dying of a heart attack while getting frisky is extremely rare, one in a billion.
But that’s exactly how his dad died, in bed with his mom. McConaughey said that dad always thought he would die that way. He’d tell the McConaughey boys, ‘when I go I’ll be making love to your mother.’
McConaughey’s First Appearance Made a Mark
Three words are where it all started for the star. While he was in college, acting was a fun side gig. He landed his first role by chance; he met a casting director, who was also a producer at an Austin bar. They hung out having an awesome time until being kicked out at 4 a.m.
He was offered a line or two in “Dazed and Confused” (1993) but wound up getting a lot more, many of which director Richard Linklater asked him to improvise. “Alright, alright, alright” is one of the most famous unscripted lines of all time, and the rest was history, as they say.
He Said No to $8 Million
During a 10-month break that he took from acting, without a single script to read, the unemployed actor did a lot of thinking. Matthew McConaughey's hope was to rebrand himself as a serious actor, but where would he go if new scripts never materialized? He considered starting some different careers.
He would rather be a high school football coach or a teacher, perhaps a wildlife educator, or even a writer than take a role in a romantic comedy. Then, an $8 million contract offer came in. He read the script and it was the exact same rom-com formula. He declined.
Sticking to His Guns
A $14.5 million offer for a rom-com script he had already declined landed on his desk. Those were some high digits. At that point, he read it again. Tempted and haunted by an open calendar, he considered the role, he imagined how he would develop the character. Ultimately, however, he kept his word. It made an impression.
The industry took it as a sign that this actor was serious and Matthew McConaughey claims that sticking to his word convinced filmmakers of his resolve. He made the turn and soon new and more interesting roles began to trickle in for him.
The experience of realigning his career shaped Matthew McConaughey's worldview and informed his perspective on how to live life. He has told the story a million times. Making a positive change in his life and in his career inspired him profoundly. And the results were clearly huge for him.
He shares his tips on life on his Instagram page, in magazines, at graduation commencements, and on podcasts. He’s a full-fledged motivational speaker! His presentations are often guided by his 13 life lessons, sometimes called the 13 truths, which you will learn more about throughout this article. He even compiled them into a book.
Making a Splash in Hollywood
“A Time to Kill” was Matthew McConaughey’s first lead role. He played opposite Ashley Judd as a character straight out of John Grisham’s book. He portrayed a young lawyer, which presumably meshed well with him as he had considered law school after graduating from high school.
But more than that, it brought excitement around his name. He was being tagged as the next big actor and he would not disappoint. Without his role in “A Time to Kill,” he would not have been in high demand as a rom-com loverboy. Pair that with his role in "Dazed and Confused," and it's clear that the '90s defined his career.
He Dated Two of His "Time To Kill" Co-Stars
Making it in Hollywood changed McConaughey’s dating life. After “A Time to Kill” he dated Ashley Judd, his first backstage romance. It was a brief love affair in 1996. The actress played Carla, the wife of Matthew’s Jake Tyler Brigance and sparks flew both on and off the set.
It was a breakout role for both young actors, but she wasn’t the only actress from “A Time to Kill” that McConaughey went out with. He also dated Hollywood superstar Sandra Bullock. As for Judd, she moved on that same year going out with chart-topping pop musician Michael Bolton. We're not sure if that's upgrade or a downgrade.
Matthew Dated Sandra Bullock
In 1996, McConaughey dated Sandra Bullock. The two saw each other until 1998. Bullock was just coming off her blockbuster hit “Speed," which she starred in alongside the likes of Keanu Reeves and Dennis Hopper. As for Matthew McConaughey, he was being flooded with rom-com scripts.
It was clear that the two were at completely different stages of their careers. After dating for two years, they ended it on very good terms and remain friends until this day. They both call Austin home. Bullock says there is a lot of respect and love between them. Bullock started dating photographer Bryan Randall since 2015, and stayed together up until his passing in 2023.
He Hated Being Famous
When 1996's “A Time to Kill” opened in theaters McConaughey’s life flipped from total anonymity to instant fame and he felt that his world was closing in. He bought a one-way ticket to Mali. He backpacked for 21 days using a fake name, saying he was a boxer. What a lie!
He needed to check in with himself, and Mali’s beauty and seclusion were restorative. He also found himself in a fighting match with the toughest dude in the village. The actor was a bloody mess, but he said he would’ve regretted it forever if he had turned down the challenge.
He Has Mom Issues
Just as Matthew McConaughey’s name was rising into A-list territory, he began having problems with his mother Kay. Her pride in his celebrity status made her starstruck, and too much of a fan, as he said it. He would talk to her on the phone, and it didn’t feel like his mother anymore.
Then, the day after a conversation, private details that he had shared with only her were making national news. He told her he needed her to chill as his fame was at a fragile stage. He did not speak to his mom for eight years after that.
After eight years of not talking to his mom, they came out on the other side of the issue. He had forgiven her for being in contact with the media, but it took all those years before he reached out again. Sharing the story with “The Howard Stern Show,” he said all he had to do is set some boundaries.
And now she’s “awesome,” sharing incredible stories. He said those eight years were tough. He had to explain it to his brothers. But today they’re completely over it, and he sees his mom every Sunday. It's amazing how time heals all wounds.
He Wrote a Book About His Struggles
Matthew McConaughey isn't just a talented actor. He's also a great writer. He wrote the New York Times Best-seller, “Greenlights” to share his philosophy on life. The 2020 book was very well received and topped the list for over 50 weeks.
He wrote the book as a memoir but in it, he reveals his process and encourages us to give it a shot in our own lives. He shares his journals, poems, prayers, and bumper sticker sayings. Green lights are the fun and easy parts of life, so he talks about yellow and red lights. He’ll teach you something about yourself.
He Put Himself in Solitary Confinement
Matthew McConaughey is known for method acting. He loves immersing himself in his roles. When he wrote “Greenlights,” he practiced some method writing, which is not a thing, but here’s what he did. He went out to the desert and stayed in a place without electricity for 52 days.
He put himself in solitary confinement so he would not have access to the internet, TV, or radio. He wanted to be “stuck” with himself. In an interview with “Indulge,” he said. He told himself, “Look, if you get bored – you got only one person to hang out with – You.”
Matthew's Greenlights Journals
“Greenlights” spent many weeks at the top of the best-sellers list. So Matthew McConaughey decided to publish “Greenlights: Your Journal, Your Journey,” a hardcover journal that encourages people to keep a diary. He provides prompts and excerpts from his book, things to help people get started writing. It's actually very useful.
Since “Greenlights” was based on his journals, he published the companion book as a journal. He likes to promote it on Instagram, giving tips and ideas for journaling. It does not have to be completely written — he says you can doodle and draw or paste pictures into it!
McConaughey Claims He Kept It Professional With Female Co-stars
Listen, Matthew McConaughy doesn't date everyone he works with. Perhaps learning something from dating two women on “A Time to Kill,” McConaughey told Howard Stern that he always maintains a platonic relationship with his co-stars. Some of his co-stars were very attractive, like Sarah Jessica Parker, Kate Hudson, and Jennifer Lopez.
But he said it is best not to get involved with the female lead because it can dampen the onscreen romantic moments. He thinks getting involved takes away from the chemistry and makes the couple not be as good together. Put it this way, he has learned his lesson since all those years ago.
One of His Favorite All-Time Co-Stars
Talking to Gwyneth Paltrow on her podcast, Kate Hudson dished that kissing Matthew McConaughey was not that great. Starring together on “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” and “Fool’s Gold,” Hudson said part of it was the situation. Their characters had to do love scenes in a plane crash in the ocean, for example.
One time he had snot on his face. McConaughey invited Hudson on to talk about it and posted the exchange on Instagram. He teased her saying that she was one of his all-time favorite co-stars and “not even close” to being on his worst kisser list.
Did He Date Janet Jackson?
The two celebs met each other at the Grammy Awards show in 2002. Matthew McConaughey’s attention to the pop legend had everyone wondering and speculating. McConaughey would tell the media that they were just friends, but Janet Jackson finally came out and said they did date.
“He is a great guy and such a sweetheart. It was just for a minute, that’s why I am so hesitant to mention it.” By 2019, the charming gent confirmed that the two went out to have dinner, just one night. We definitely think that counts as dating. To think that he could have been Michael Jackson's brother-in-law!
Penelope Cruz Dated McConaughey as the Sexiest Man Alive
The pair met on the set of “Sahara,” a 2005 action movie. The Spanish senorita played his leading lady. Filmed in Morocco, the setting could not have been more romantic. As soon as the shooting wrapped, Cruz and McConaughey ducked out and went on a road trip in Mexico in his camper.
The couple dated for a year and broke up in 2006 because of busy schedules. However, as the actor’s biographer points out, this was at about the same time that McConaughey had met Camila Alves at a West Hollywood bar. So depending on who you ask, either person was the one who got away.
Seeing Camila Alves at the bar in West Hollywood was love at first sight. Matthew McConaughey recalls being captivated by the Brazilian-American model. He immediately tried to get her attention but quickly realized she is not someone he should flag down from his seat at the bar.
He went to talk with her and three days later they went on their first date. The next night, he wanted another date. In true rom-com fashion, the Hollywood hunk added the following, “And I’ve been wanting to go on a date with her for the last nine years. And not with anybody else.”
Camila Didn't Recognize Him
The story is practically legend. Matthew McConaughey goes to the Hyde Bar with buddy Lance Armstrong. He is dating stunner Penelope Cruz, but she is not there. He spots Camila Alves and falls in love on the spot. Camila did not recognize him but talked to him once at the bar.
She was clueless because, as she said it, he had a full beard and a Rasta hat covering his face. As she further explained to “Access Hollywood,” once Armstrong stepped in, the Brazilian model was finally clued in on who was trying to talk with her. And the rest was history.
Camila Put Matthew to the Test
When McConaughey famously made a move on Camila in that Los Angeles bar, she did not speak English to him, she stuck with her native Portuguese. The Brazilian model was not going to make it easy for him. Luckily, his relationship with Penelope Cruz gave him enough language to try to keep up.
So, the southern charmer winged it and spoke “Español,” and somehow, they managed to communicate, despite the fact that Spanish and Portuguese are not as similar as one would think. Some will say that McConaughey got lucky. But at the end of the day, you need to make your luck.
A Perfect Rom-Com Engagement
Matthew McConaughey is a romancer in real life. When he proposed to Camila Alves at Christmas, he wrapped the engagement ring inside eight boxes and decided to play "pass the parcel" with his family! Opening it in front of his entire family, one person at a time, she got the final box unwrapped.
Shockingly, she did not say “yes.” McConaughey would not divulge what she said, only what he did. He was down on one knee and said he is going to stay there until she agrees to marry him. “I will outlast you.” And he did. It just goes to show that patience is a virtue.
Becoming the McConaugheys
Matthew McConaughy and Camila Alves' life together commenced in 2006 when they first laid eyes on each other. The connection was strong, bridging the language gap. He said he understood her Portuguese back then better than he has since. The lovebirds dated for several years before tying the knot, marrying on June 9, 2012.
They have three children by the names of Levi, Livingston, and Vida, born in 2008, 2010, and 2012, two sons and a daughter. Matthew is a doting and committed father. He has talked about fatherhood being a transcendent experience and a role in which he feels great pride.
Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves met in Los Angeles in 2006. They lived there until 2012 when they pulled up their roots and replanted them in Austin. Alves explained that living in Malibu was not the best place to raise kids. They purchased the home in 2007 in Point Dume for $10 million.
She said the paparazzi stalked them just outside their door every single day. Moving to Texas made life so much easier for them in many ways. First of all, they found privacy, finally. She did not miss the glamour of Hollywood one bit. They adore their 10,000-square-foot mansion overlooking Lake Austin.
Matthew and Camila’s Down-Home Texas Wedding
Camila was their wedding planner. She arranged everything, creating a village to make it a romantic experience. They invited all their friends and family for three days to celebrate the couple’s nuptial exchange. His spiritual guide, Brother Christian, who you will learn more about later on, married them. Yet when it came to the vows, they secretly whispered them.
It was an emotional moment that no one else heard. It took place at the Old Oak Estate, a 7-bedroom mansion in Texas. She set up 40 tents with glamping amenities like AC. Friends included Woody Harrelson and Meg Ryan with John Mellencamp singing a song for the couple.
Camila and Matthew’s Marriage Bond
The secret to Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves's happy marriage is that they prioritize the relationship. That comes first, then kids and work. McConaughey says it helps that they share a similar “moral bottom line.” Their three kids take precedence over their careers, and that's a key fundamental in their relationship.
He has talked about how he feels most secure at home. In 2016 he said he is very faithful to his wife. He loves being under her spell. On Instagram, you’ll also find the former rom-com actor passionately doting on her. In one post he merely thanks her for being born.
McConaughey the Monk?
Matthew McConaughey thought deeply about his vocation. He even considered one path no one would expect. He wanted to be a monk. He seriously considered it and consulted with Brother Christian, a monk he met at a monastery in New Mexico. He wanted to get spiritual and be at one with nature.
Brother Christian is a close friend who advised McConaughey not to go into a hermitage with God. He told McConaughey that his gift is being a speaker, a communicator. He was put here to communicate. Brother Christian said his talent should be shared instead of kept away quietly in religious servitude.
He Discovered God in a Monastery in New Mexico
When struggled with fame a friend dropped him off at The Monastery of Christ in the Desert, a New Mexico haven of communal Benedictine monks. He stayed at its guesthouse to sample monastic life. McConaughey said that when Brother Christian was assigned to him, he confessed for “four hours,” sobbing and bawling.
Brother Christian taught him that he was suffering from the human condition, we all tend to think that we are the center of the world. But, Matthew learned that God is there to help him through it not to judge him for it. Spirituality has always been an important part of McConaughey's life, long before he even started acting.
McConaughey Is Done Being the Victim
Life truth number one is “Life is not easy.” He says, life is not easy, and it will never be. McConaughey thinks it is important to accept this truth first. He says life is not fair, and people should not fall into the victim trap, or make the mistake of feeling entitled.
It is not easy to achieve things, and it is more rewarding if you have to work hard and break a sweat to attain it. The sooner we get past the entitlement trap, the sooner we get on the road to success. That's life lesson number one, and we are already overwhelmed.
The McConaissance Commences
There was a time when Matthew McConaughey's career kind of looked dead in the water. But the rebirth of Matthew McConaughey’s career after turning his back on romantic comedies began with “The Lincoln Lawyer” (2011). Landing the dramatic role as an attorney put McConaughey’s name back on the map.
He followed the success up with “Mud,” “Killer Joe,” and “Magic Mike,” all films that made a big splash. One movie critic began characterizing his reemergence as “the McConnaissance.” It stuck. McConaughey took it on himself. His renaissance period peaked with “Dallas Buyers Club.” This culminated in the biggest moment of his career so far.
His Oscar Acceptance Speech
There is no denying that winning the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in "Dallas Buyers Club" is the pinnacle of Matthew McConaughey’s career. His Oscar acceptance speech when he won Best Actor Oscar left a mark. He said he did not have a speech prepared, he felt it would have been too presumptuous.
As a gifted speaker, he did not need prepared material. He got up there and first addressed all the “Best Actor” nominees, saying each performance was impeccable. He thanked God first and then family. He sealed the speech with his trademark catchphrase, “Alright, alright, alright.”
McConaughey’s Hero Is... He Himself
At age 15, someone asked Matthew McConaughey who his hero is, and he decided it was himself, in the future. During his Oscars speech, he talked about chasing his hero. His hero is himself in ten years. He discusses this idea frequently since then in his motivational speeches.
“I’m never going to be my hero,” he says. It is his way of saying he is always striving to be the best without limits. His future hero, he says, is unattainable, and that is fine because it keeps him striving. Well, we think it's safe to say that the current Matthew McConaughey is always going to be a hero to someone.
He Is Texan Through and Through
The star is a proud Texan. He values his heritage, and he expresses himself as a Texan. Texas Hill Country magazine said it best when they headlined an article saying the southern gentleman spoke “fluent Texan” in an interview video with “Vanity Fair.” The southern gentleman lives in Austin, the city he moved to for college.
He loved the University's football program and today he is one of the Texas Longhorns' most prominent fans. He is even helping build a new multi-million-dollar sports arena for the team. Now, if that's not giving back to the community, we don't know what is.
Unbelievable Is the Stupidest Word
McConaughey says the word “unbelievable” is the “stupidest” word in the dictionary. He says we should never use it. Something may be fantastic or phenomenal, but it cannot be unbelievable. He says it takes credit away from those who performed amazingly. He thinks whatever the achievement is, it is worth believing in.
Usually, whatever we say is unbelievable actually happened. We witnessed it, it happened. It is real. It goes the same for “unbelievably” terrible outcomes. Nothing humans do is unbelievable, acts of greatness or humanity’s worst. He says we should acknowledge acts of greatness instead of limiting human achievement.
His Response to Hurricane Katrina
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the coastal regions of Louisiana, McConaughey was shocked by the severe damage the category 5 storm inflicted. Feeling helpless, he asked his publicist to find him a way to do something to help the people there.
He hooked him up with producers of the Oprah Show who were searching for celebrities who weren’t afraid to broadcast from ground zero. He hopped on a plane and headed to the Gulf Coast the next morning. It was chaos. Helicopters flew sans air traffic control. He talked to people who had lost their homes and were without flood insurance.
A Pet Rescue Mission
While he was reporting on Hurricane Katrina, tragic stories started to rise. One man he talked to, an engineer, said he built his dream house to withstand 160 m.p.h. winds, but his house was now gone. It absolutely broke Matthew's heart.
McConaughey met an anesthesiologist at a makeshift rooftop hospital who pleaded with him to transport pets he had held for people who fled the disaster area and had been stranded without food after the levees broke. McConaughey loaded the pets on boats, navigating flooded streets, and brought them to safety. In all, he saved 50 dogs, 18 cats, and two hamsters.
He Claims that Happiness Is Different Than Joy
Matthew McConaughey believes we should not search for happiness because it will let us down. In other words, as soon as you achieve what you wanted, you will want something new that you currently do not have. Instead, we should focus on finding joy. And we totally understand where he is coming from.
He finds joy in his life came by relishing in his work. Instead of working for an outcome, like an acting prize or a box office success, he started liking the daily work, doing his job became the reward in itself. It was then, he says, that his accolades came in.
The Bromance With Lance Armstrong
McConaughey and Lance Armstrong developed such a strong friendship people speculated that they were more than platonic. Both living in Austin, they began hitting it off after breakups with girlfriends Penelope Cruz and Sheryl Crow. The southern gentleman was impressed with Armstrong’s Olympic medals and Tour de France titles, particularly the Tour he won after beating cancer.
Armstrong’s “Live Strong” foundation also impressed the actor. The BFFs were spotted everywhere together. When Armstrong fell from grace due to performance enhancer charges and was stripped of his medals and titles, McConaughey was disappointed and felt betrayed. And we can understand why.
The Voice of Hank the Cowdog
McConaughey is not afraid to say he likes the brownie points he gets with his kids for voicing Hank in the podcast version of the famous children's book series. Much of what he does is irrelevant to his three children, but when they discover he is the voice of a character they love, they are impressed, and he is cool in their eyes.
“Fatherly” magazine named McConaughey the coolest dad of 2020. In an interview, McConaughey talked about how he loves this kind of project, in part because he likes working with director Jeff Nichols, who also wrote and produced “Hank.”
McConaughey’s Daughter was in 'Sing 2'
During the time that McConaughey was promoting “Sing 2,” he visited “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” At that taping, he dropped a cute surprise. The actor revealed that his daughter Vida had a small part in the film when she was just 11.
Her bit was getting to voice one of the little piggies. She cameoed in the 2016 movie voicing the piggy who was scuba diving in chocolate. Her big line was, “This is the best day of my life.” In the franchise, McConaughey sings and voices Buster Moon, an upbeat koala and the owner of Moon Theatre.
Define Success for Yourself
He thinks people ought to think about what it is that they want to have in their lives to feel successful, we all need to “find our hill.” He strongly urges us to stay away from things that take away from ourselves, to not choose anything that will “jeopardize your soul."
He also urges people to not spend time doing things that hurt their character. His personal definition of success is five things: Fatherhood, being a good husband, health, career, and friendships. He checks in every day to confirm this is where he is at. And it has been doing him good so far.
Busted! The Bongo Drums Brouhaha
This story goes back to 1999. The A-lister’s Texas neighbors called the police because there was too much noise coming from his house. McConaughey was found joyfully banging on the bongo drums, completely naked inside his home. The police asked the actor to cease his rambunctious behavior and put some pants on. He flatly refused and kept banging away.
The cops dragged him off to jail. He spent the night in jail. He has zero regrets and even capitalized on the brouhaha by getting to play bongo drums at a Dixie Chicks concert. It's not the most pleasant moment in his life but it certainly wasn't the worst either.
Making "The Beach Bum"
“The Beach Bum” is not one of McConaughey’s greatest accomplishments, in fact, it borderline flopped as the actor’s career-lowest opening weekend, but he had a great time making it. He played the longhaired stoner dude beach bum, Moondog. Zac Efron, Martin Lawrence, Isla Fisher, Jonah Hill, Snoop Dogg, and Jimmy Buffett co-starred.
Buffett told The Hollywood Reporter that working on “The Beach Bum” was fun, and he had a great time getting to know Snoop Dogg. His favorite was the Frooty Loops scene. McConaughey was just as thrilled to meet the longtime rapper. We think we were all thrilled to seem them join forces.
‘Carpool Karaoke’ With Snoop
Snoop Dogg and McConaughey had an entire episode to themselves. After hanging out on the set of the 2019 movie “The Beach Bum,” they were happy to collaborate and sing some tunes in the car. They belted out Willie Nelson’s classic hit, “On the Road Again.”
McConaughey gave Snoop the scoop of the “Alright, alright, alright” origin story. He was trying to get into character, into the mind of David Wooderson, asking himself what he’s like. He likes his car, he likes rock and roll, and he likes to chase girls, those are three things that were alright with him.
Snoop Dogg’s Prop Stunt
During the filming of “The Beach Bum,” there was a scene in which Snoop’s character, Ray, introduces Moondog to the devil's lettuce if you know what we mean. In the shoot, they are supposed to pass a prop cigarette, rolled with oregano. Whatever the case, it looked extremely convincing.
McConaughey said he doesn't think that was a prop. After passing it back and forth as the scene required, Snoop told him what was up. He said, it was no prop, it was the real thing. McConaughey busted raps out for 13 hours straight. We didn’t even know he could rap!
Going All-in for ‘Dallas Buyers Club’
Matthew McConaughey committed himself to the role of Ron Woodroof in the movie "Dallas Buyers Club." He went on a near-starvation diet to portray the character who was dying of HIV. In the movie, the character was diagnosed and given 30 days to live, and Matthew McConaughey was compellingly convincing in the role.
McConaughey lost 47 pounds from an average size body by cutting way back on calories while also burning 1,800 calories per day with heavy cardio. Camila helped him by restricting his diet. He kept a nutritionist to ensure he was as healthy as possible. This is certainly one of the great examples of method acting.
In 2019, Matthew McConaughey added “professor of practice” to his resume. Returning to his alma mater to teach, the Moody College of Communication welcomed the filmmaker to their faculty. He had been acting as a visiting professor since 2015, but now he is officially a professor at U-T.
He teaches “Script to Screen,” a film production class that teaches filmmaking from the very start to the final product. His students like to hear him talk about making “Dazed and Confused.” More recently they have shown an interest in “Interstellar.” Clearly, this is another example of McConaughey wanting to give back to the community.
Don’t Leave Crumbs!
This one is also one of McConaughey's life truths. The choices we make come back in the future. Like when you drink too much at night and get too hungover to drive your kid to school the next morning. Make the choice to be there for your child. Not leaving crumbs is about delayed gratification.
Do those things that will bring better things in the future, leave good crumbs instead of those you will regret. Don’t leave crumbs that will have you having to look over your shoulder later. Pay your debts on time and keep the debt collector at bay.
McConaughey, Governor of Texas?
On November 28, 2021, McConaughey posted a video of himself sitting between a U.S. flag and a Texas banner and discussed his hopes to bring change to the Texas state government. He discussed his leadership qualities and why he decided to think about throwing his hat in the ring.
He started by asking himself how he could be most useful in the world. Politics seemed like something he should give a lot of consideration to because of the privilege his name offers. He's a great speaker, he cares about people and has a clear moral compass. Sounds like a great leader, if you ask us.
Not the Governor, for Now
Sitting with Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show,” the southern gentleman announced he was hitting the “pause” button on his political aspirations. He may be back. The way he put it is, “I’m not, until I am.” He cited his responsibility as a father while his children are still young. The kids were 13, 11, and 8 at the time.
And though he mulled the idea and seriously considered it, he settled into a decision not to take on politics. He is a father, an actor, a philanthropist, a professor, and a motivational speaker. His plate seems pretty full at this moment in time.
McConaughey Met Woody Harrelson Making ‘Ed TV’
The first time that Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson met was making “Welcome to Hollywood,” but they really got to enjoy each other’s company after making “Ed TV,” a movie that came out the following year. After filming that 1999 movie, their bromance truly bloomed and moved to the next level.
They made “Surfer, Dude,” (a box office dud) together as well as “True Detective.” In all, they’ve worked on the set of four films. They go on a “friendship tour” each year, visiting wealthy friends like Bono in the South of France. Chris Rock is also on-board with Harrelson’s “friendship tour.”
He Never Turns a Sponsorship Down
Since winning his Academy Award, Matthew McConaughey has been looking more and more like a NASCAR driver, advertising more brands than you can shake a stick at. He plasters his sponsors all over his Instagram page, seemingly soliciting without being asked. Clearly, he's a man who means business.
Some of his sponsors include Dell, Salesforce, Lincoln, Wild Turkey, Coty Stetson cologne, and Dolce and Gabbana fragrance. Ironically, he does not even wear deodorant, let alone cologne. Albeit, Kate Hudson, funnily enough, requested he wears it during the shooting of “Fool’s Gold.” Whatever you need to do to pay the bills, we guess.
Matthew and Camila’s Disaster Relief Concert
When Texas was hit with devastating storms in February 2021, lots of Texans were in dire straits. The state experienced its coldest freeze in 70 years and clean water, electricity, and other urgent needs were unavailable to many people. The McConaugheys responded immediately to help bring in needed funding. He called up his contacts in music and show business.
Celebs signed up right away to perform a virtual concert to raise money. Names like Willie Nelson, George Strait, Don Henley, Post Malone, Selena Gomez, Leon Bridges, Lyle Lovett, and Kelly Clarkson headlined McConaughey’s YouTube channel and generated nearly $8 million.
Matthew's ‘Tropic Thunder’
Owen Wilson was cast to play Rick “The Pecker” Peck in Ben Stiller’s action-comedy “Tropic Thunder.” His 2007 attempt to end his own life derailed that casting. He dropped out of the film voluntarily and the role was passed onto Matthew McConaughey. Interestingly, he was not supposed to have the role in the first place.
Tom Cruise planned to play “The Pecker,” but his agent ripped him off the billing after a lawsuit surrounding images of the actor being released without permission came out. So, McConaughey was there to take the part. Ultimately, he was just very happy that he ended up in the movie, because it performed very well at the box office.
The Lincoln Motors Brand Man
“The Lincoln Lawyer” kicked off the actor’s relationship with Lincoln automobiles. The 2011 film did not flop. Months after taking home the 2014 Best Actor award, Lincoln Motors hit him up. He’s fully on board with the sponsor partnership and filmed a now-legendary commercial driving a Lincoln.
It went viral with parodies, laughter, and spoofs. Both “SNL” and “South Park” poked fun. In Jim Carrey’s spoof, he skewered the actor’s line in the commercial about taking a step back to go forward by smirking, “Like go from winning an Oscar to doing a car commercial.” Matthew saw the funny side of things.
The "Just Keep Living Foundation"
Camila and Matthew McConaughey founded the nonprofit to help empower high school kids to become young men and women with bright futures. Programs offer aid to inner-city high schools that teach teamwork, gratitude, exercise, nutrition, and community service. Going through the death of his father, McConaughey came up with the “just keep livin” attitude.
In “Dazed and Confused,” it surfaced as one of Wooderson’s most classic tag lines, “You gotta just keep livin’ man.” It was the perfect name for the organization. The couple also puts the foundation into action for causes such as the We’re Texas disaster relief concert.
Philanthropist of the Year
You probably know McConaughey has been named People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive, and one of Time magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People in the World. Did you know he was also named “Hollywood Reporter’s” 2021 Philanthropist of the Year? Yeah, neither did we until now.
The magazine offered the accolade to the actor for his service to communities, especially through his Just Keep Livin' Foundation which went into effect in earnest in 2008. The benefit concert “We’re Texas” also got attention. He is a person who likes to be of service and give back to the community, and this honor thanks him.
A New Role at Wild Turkey
Being sponsored by alcohol brand Wild Turkey is a lucrative deal for the actor. It earns McConaughey $4 million per year. He is more than just a brand ambassador for the Kentucky whiskey producer — he’s down at the distillery participating in making bourbon. They named him the creative director of advertisements.
He sampled the bourbon from the barrels, heck, he even got a sample of a small reserve from before Prohibition. He said it was smooth. The southern gentleman likes bourbon because it is an American tradition, first developed 200 years ago. Wild Turkey even let the celebrity bottle his signature whiskey, they call it Longbranch.
McConaughey Sponsors ‘Just Try One Bite’
Not all of Matthew McConaughey’s brand ambassador commitments are outside of the home. He took to Instagram in 2022 to talk about a children’s book that Camila wrote. He gushed over her, saying she was his best friend. And if that doesn't warm your heart, we don't know what will.
The doting husband talked about how she worked on it for two years and about how important it is to get kids to eat healthy and have a lot of fun doing it. He signed off with a sexy message to Camila, looking forward to his next bite. Behave now, Matthew!
He Lent His Voice to the Peace Corps
Joining the Peace Corps, at least for a 30-second ad, Matthew McConaughey showed alliance with the organization that was established by President John F. Kennedy. On television and radio advertisements, the actor urges folks to join the volunteer-run program, in an attempt to serve their country.
It has been confronting human rights problems in a wide range of areas. McConaughey’s contributed to the “Life is calling. How far will you go?” campaign by doing voice-overs. He did his part to help out in 2005, challenging people to take the adventure of their lives. And this is just one example of his philanthropic ways.
The First Sparks of the Woody Harrelson Bromance
Matthew McConaughey has a fond recollection of meeting good friend Woody Harrelson. It was on the set of Ron Howard’s film “EdTV” when he heard the “White Men Can’t Jump” star approaching. He was fully attired in biking garb, including those little shoes that fasten onto the pedals.
As he is clunking his way into the room where they are conducting a wardrobe meeting, he announced that he is wardrobed, and he is not going to discuss or negotiate it. MM immediately loved him, imagining the actor clomping through the streets of S.F., sans bike. What a bromance we have on our hands here.
The American Association of Retired Persons
Not one to turn down any publicity, McConaughey gave the magazine for the AARP organization a cover story and interview. Yes, ladies, the former rom-com heartthrob has reached retirement age. Yes, it’s hard to believe looking back at all those ‘90s movies.
He is not the type to hide from who he is, and so he put it out, front and center. The southern smooth talker is embracing aging. He talked about being a renegade and his own family’s “outlaw logic.” He said his mom is a vigilante with teaching. She never once got a certificate and taught for 39 years.
Is It Regenix or Transplants?
A hair transplant surgeon said McConaughey underwent surgery. The doctor claimed that he had performed the hair restoration procedure on the actor. But the actor is resolute, calling the doctor a liar. Ultimately, who cares if you had a hair transplant? It's nothing to be ashamed of Matthew. Your head, your choice!
He flat out refuses to admit going through those treatments, but he will push the Regenix product. He claimed to have shaved his head completely and rubbed the product into his scalp. He slathered it on once a day for 10 minutes. And all he can tell us is that it came back.
George W. Bush Shares His Two Cents
On “Today with Hoda and Jenna,” when McConaughey was seriously considering a run for governor, George W. Bush, the former Texas governor, chimed in with some good advice. He gave the aspiring governor a clear warning, “I tell you this, it’s a tough business.” Politics is no walk through the park in a rom-com flick.
At the time, the movie star was polling at 45 percent. Hosts Hoda and Jenna wanted to know how the former president thought he would do. He said he had no idea and emphasized again that it is a tough business. Listen, he's still young. So there is time.
The McConaughey Brand of Christianity
Matthew McConaughey has always looked to God. In his Oscar acceptance speech, He talks about being raised in a Methodist Christian house. On the Joe Rogan Experience podcast in 2020, he got into his biblical worldview. He talked about religion and how it is beneficial to society.
He also spoke openly about not really getting the point of some biblical stories like the burning bush. In other words, he doesn't see the meaning in a lot of miracles beyond their literal interpretation. It should be noted that the actor is more forthcoming now that politics in Texas is on his radar.
A Stand-Up Comic?
Matthew McConaughey is a true renaissance man. He has done it all, from acting to motivational speaking to taking on politics. He is a professor at the university, he is a stellar dad, he is a best-seller author, and he is a philanthropist. Is there anything he can not do?
He’s a marketing whiz for bourbon. One of his latest aspirations is to be a stand-up comic. He likes the idea because there is no filter on his work, on what he says. There is no editor or director. Just him and his words. He shared his recent aspiration on Russell Howard’s show “Sky One.”
He Thinks He Knows How He'll Die
McConaughey had a dream. He dreamed he got killed by a wild animal, that he became part of the food chain, and that’s the way he would like to go. He thinks that is how his end will be. It is much better than other deaths, he said. The actor prefers a natural conclusion.
In his dream, he was devoured by alligators. It’s a painful and ugly death, but it is part of the natural order and therefore, he thinks, better. Matthew, we think you should focus on what's happening while you're awake, not what's going on in your sleep. You'll be better off for it.