Rare facts about Matthew McConaughey! From his road to Hollywood stardom to his iconic phrase.
9. Law Aspirations
As the son of well-off parents, McConaughey was college-bound after high school. He attended the University of Texas and graduated in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in Radio-Television-Film.
After this first bout of schooling was finished, McConaughey set his sights on Southern Methodist University. Though before he could follow through, he learned from one of his brothers that the cost of that schooling would put a hefty financial burden on his parents. His strategy had been to go to law school afterwards as well, but he threw these plans out the window.
Instead, he found a new calling in television commercials, making his face well-known locally before breaking out into bigger and better projects. These opportunities would bring him back to the rule of law though as he would go on to be cast as a lawyer in two critically acclaimed movies, once in 1996 then again in 2011.
One of his most recently popular roles even put McConaughey behind a badge as Detective Rust Cohle on HBO’s “True Detective“. At the end of the day though, the actor never actually earned the qualifications to be a lawyer or officer. He just plays them on TV.
8. Texas Born & Bred
The love McConaughey feels towards his home state is represented throughout his catalog of works. From “Dazed and Confused” and “Dallas Buyer’s Club” to “1994’s sequel” to the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Killer Joe“, from “Lone Star” and “The Newton Boys” to a cameo spot in Mike Judge’s King of The Hill, the actor’s work is riddled with tributes to Texas. This makes sense as few actors can claim to be more Texan than him.
Born in Uvalde, Texas, McConaughey also went to school in Longview and later in Austin. Growing up, he worked at a country club where he would perform groundskeeping duties, and shoot pesky armadillos invading the estate.
Aside from his successful family members, McConaughey has one distant relative with a famed history in the region. He and his family are related to a Confederate brigadier general named Dandridge McRae, a leader who proved instrumental in many important battles of the 1860s.
But unlike the rest of his Texan roots, McConaughey doesn’t seem to hold this Confederate connection too close to heart. His performance in 2016’s Free State of Jones proved as much as he played a deserter of the Confederacy and militia leader that led a rebellion against the corrupt Confederate government.
7. Rom-Com King
After spreading his wings throughout the nineties, McConaughey exhibited a wide range to audiences thanks to the sheer difference in tone between movies like Contact, Amistad, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and EDtv.
But as the millennium drew to a close, McConaughey would find a comfortable niche being typecast as an affable yet flawed love interest in a series of romantic comedies. Movies like The Wedding Planner, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, Failure to Launch, Fool’s Gold, and Ghosts of Girlfriends past pit him alongside starlets like Jennifer Lopez, Kate Hudson, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Jennifer Garner.
This cemented his place in the hearts and minds of women everywhere, but at the same time grew to be one of his trademarks. By the time 2010 came around, McConaughey was 41 and had no Oscars to show for his body of work. He realized it was time for a change if he didn’t want to be stuck being typecast forever.
6. Rebrand & Resurgence
McConaughey’s shirtless, bongo-filled romps, when paired with his romantic comedy reputation, weren’t getting him any closer to the dramatic, challenging roles he knew he wanted. So when he returned to silver screens after somewhat of a break in 2010, he did so with a purpose.
Roles in films like The Lincoln Lawyer, Mud, and Magic Mike were a strange turn from the clean-cut, safe characters he had gotten used to from 2001 to 2009. But it was 2013’s Dallas Buyers Club that would change everything. In the role of Ron Woodruff, McConaughey embodied the AIDS-diagnosed survivor with such passion and gusto that he won his first and only Oscar to date for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role.
To make it even more special, his co-star Jared Leto won an Oscar for Supporting Actor, making it one of the few times in history that both of those awards go to actors in the same film.
This win has kicked off what some writers have called a “McConaissance” for the actor as his career is surging with new parts for him to sink his teeth into. 2014’s True Detective, for example, brought the actor to television in a role that earned him an Emmy nomination.
He starred alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in Wolf of Wall Street and in Christopher Nolan’s space epic Interstellar. The future looks bright for McConaughey as he continues to churn out excellent performances.
5. Model Wife
Going on almost thirteen years together, McConaughey is happily married to Brazilian fashion model Camila Alves.
The pair were engaged on Christmas of 2011, and were wed in their hometown of Austin, Texas in a private Catholic ceremony. But they met much earlier than that with a history going back to 2006.
They have three children together, with Alves birthing a son in 2008, a daughter in 2010, and a second son in 2012. Alves first came to the states when she was just 15 to visit her aunt and decided to stay when she fell in love with the country.
Four years of working as a house-cleaner and waitress attuned her to American traditions as she became fluent in English. She then decided to move to New York and pursue her dreams of being a fashion model, while also working with her mother in designing a line of handbags.
Her career has since taken off, with accomplishments such as hosting a season of the Bravo show “Shear Genius” and being signed as the face for Macy’s “International Concepts” clothing line. She also runs her own web site, “Women of Today”, and is a co-owner of an organic food company called “Yummy Spoonfuls”, which provides products for babies and toddlers as well!
4. Animal Hero
Full of compassion, Matthew McConaughey has been especially kind to animals in the public eye. In 2005, amid the destructive aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the actor teamed with Oprah to help with rescue efforts.
A camera crew accompanied McConaughey into the weather-torn city to give a first-hand account of the natural disaster. While there, the team found numerous pets stranded among the wreckage. They came upon a doctor who had been trapped after the levees burst and the lot of them were able to rescue over 50 animals and get them to safety. McConaughey is equally as good to animals when the cameras aren’t rolling, too, as was seen a year earlier while the actor was in Sherman Oaks, California.
Driving down the street, he came across a group of kids committing an act he couldn’t believe. The group of kids were dousing a cat in hairspray and attempting to set it on fire!
After letting loose a torrent of words at the irresponsibly devious individuals, he snatched the hairspray and the feline from them and left, taking it immediately to an animal shelter.
Some of his other harrowing encounters with animals involve him facing off with them, just as he did when he tossed his child 15 feet in the air to his wife while distracting a charging ram, or the time he chased off a coyote circling a mother and child. Animal or person, McConaughey is quick to protect the innocent.
3. Eccentric Behavior
Given his cool, casual attitude, McConaughey isn’t exactly known for showing restraint. His notoriously carefree perspective has shown to be a blessing and a curse.
One example of his unconventional conduct actually resulted in his big break, as McConaughey first met the casting director of the film “Dazed and Confused” in a bar…at 3:30 in the morning! He brought drinks to the unsuspecting man and talked his way into a role as shooting began just six hours later. McConaughey’s radical etiquette didn’t end with pursuing work, as his dedication to his performances has reached equivalent if not increasing extremities.
When cast as an electrician with Aids in the film Dallas Buyers Club, the actor voluntarily lost 47 pounds, becoming a thin shadow of his normally svelte self.
To reach the desired weight, McConaughey crafted a controlled environment for himself, avoiding all meetings at food-related locations and filling his time with researching the part to keep his mind off of his hunger.
Another one of his abnormal calling cards is his refusal to wear deodorant or cologne, opting to embrace his “natural scent”. This doesn’t go over well with everyone, though, as Kate Hudson supposedly hounded him to use a salt rock while on the set of Fool’s Gold. A request he declined.
2. Bongo Debauchery
Without a doubt, the star of 2019’s Beach Bum has a certain magnetism that endears him to audiences worldwide. Behind that alluring smile, though, lies a troublemaker as the world found out in 1999.
McConaughey had the police called on him one night after being seen playing the bongos outside of his Texas home. As he played the drums, an unidentified man joined in with the music, clapping along to the rhythm. When police arrived, they immediately recognized the actor as he had been in the business for nearly 6 years at this point. While trying to book him, McConaughey allegedly refused to put on pants and went so far as to shove an officer in his belligerence while entering the squad car. This resulted in a resisting transportation charge, along with being booked on possession of illegal substances and paraphernalia.
The first person he called in jail was his mother. But McConaughey would only stay locked up for a total of nine hours before being granted bail on a bond of one thousand dollars.
The substance and paraphernalia charges were dropped, and despite the harrowing predicament, McConaughey has gone on record stating he has “no regrets about the way he got there.
1. Diary Collection
McConaughey’s laid back demeanor, charming southern drawl and blue-collared roles don’t exactly give the impression that the actor’s an intellectual, but in truth, he’s a very deep thinker.
So deep, in fact, that he possesses a massive collection of diaries from throughout his life, with each one recounting his experiences in different regions and on the sets of his various films. A peek inside might reveal such details as his mindstate while dropping nearly 50 pounds for his part in Dallas Buyers Club, or tales of his pre-college journey in Australia.
When asked the purpose of keeping such diaries in an interview with GQ, McConaughey answered slyly with a quote from Oscar Wilde: “A man should always have his diary on him. That way he’s guaranteed to always have something incredible to read.”