Edit
Matthew McConaughey Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (4) | Trivia (65) | Personal Quotes (32) | Salary (5)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 4 November 1969Uvalde, Texas, USA
Birth NameMatthew David McConaughey
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Matthew McConaughey was born in Uvalde, Texas. His mother, Mary Kathleen (McCabe), is a substitute school teacher originally from New Jersey. His father, James Donald McConaughey, was a Mississippi-born gas station owner who ran an oil pipe supply business. He is of Scottish, Irish, English, German, and Swedish descent. Matthew grew up in Longview, Texas, where he graduated from the local High School (1988). Showing little interest in his father's oil business, which his two brothers later joined, Matthew was longing for a change of scenery, and spent a year in Australia, washing dishes and shoveling chicken manure. Back to the States, he attended the University of Texas in Austin, originally wishing to be a lawyer. But, when he discovered an inspirational Og Mandino book "The Greatest Salesman in the World" before one of his final exams, he suddenly knew he had to change his major from law to film. He began his acting career in 1991, appearing in student films and commercials in Texas and directed short films as Chicano Chariots (1992). Once, in his hotel bar in Austin, he met the casting director and producer Don Phillips, who introduced him to director Richard Linklater for his next project. At first, Linklater thought Matthew was too handsome to play the role of a guy chasing high school girls in his coming-of-age drama Dazed and Confused (1993), but cast him after Matthew grew out his hair and mustache. His character was initially in three scenes but the role grew to more than 300 lines as Linklater encouraged him to do some improvisations. In 1995, he starred in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994), playing a mad bloodthirsty sadistic killer, opposite Renée Zellweger. Shortly thereafter moving to L.A., Matthew became a sensation with his performances in two high-profile 1996 films Lone Star (1996), where he portrayed killing suspected sheriff and in the film adaptation of John Grisham's novel A Time to Kill (1996), where he played an idealistic young lawyer opposite Sandra Bullock and Kevin Spacey. The actor was soon being hailed as one of the industry's hottest young leading man inspiring comparisons to actor Paul Newman. His following performances were Robert Zemeckis' Contact (1997) with Jodie Foster (the film was finished just before the death of the great astronomer and popularizer of space science Carl Sagan) and Steven Spielberg's Amistad (1997), a fact-based 1839 story about the rebellious African slaves. In 1998, he teamed again with Richard Linklater as one of the bank-robbing brothers in The Newton Boys (1998), set in Matthew's birthplace, Uvalde, Texas. During this time, he also wrote, directed and starred in the 20-minute short The Rebel (1998). Later, in Jonathan Mostow's U-571 (2000), McConaughey portrayed the officer Lt. Tyler in a WW II story of a daring mission of American submariners, trying to capture the Enigma cipher machine. Matthew also took a part in comedies such as The Wedding Planner (2001), opposite Jennifer Lopez and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003) in which he co-starred with Kate Hudson. His most interesting role was playing Denton Van Zan, an American warrior and dragons hunter in the futuristic thriller Reign of Fire (2002), where he co-starred with another young actor, Christian Bale.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tzvetislav Samardjiev, tzvetislav@abv.bg

Spouse (1)

Camila Alves McConaughey (9 June 2012 - present) (3 children)

Trade Mark (4)

Curly light brown hair and soft blue eyes
Heavy Texas drawl
Habitually taking off his shirt
His catchphrase "Alright, alright, alright!"

Trivia (65)

His mother, Mary Kathleen "Kay" McCabe, is a schoolteacher.
He lived for a year in Warnervale, New South Wales, Australia, as a 1988 Rotary exchange student in 1988, returning with an adopted Australian accent which remained with him for awhile after returning to the USA.
Attended the University of Texas at Austin, College of Communication, where he majored in film, graduating 1993, with a Bachelor's degree in Radio-Television-Film.
Graduated 1988 from Longview High School, Longview, Texas.
Arrested in Oct 1999 in Austin, Texas for "resisting transportation" after first being under suspicion for marijuana possession.
Police responded to a disturbance call at Matthew's home in Austin, Texas in October 1999. When they arrived, the music was blaring and Matthew was playing bongo drums in the nude. He was with an unknown man and police attempted to arrest both of them after spotting illegal drugs. Matthew resisted arrest.
Was for some time strongly considered to play 'Jack Dawson' in Titanic (1997), until Leonardo DiCaprio decided to accept the part.
Travelled around Peru after filming A Time to Kill (1996).
Voted "Most Handsome" in his senior year of high school.
Member of Delta Tau Delta, international college fraternity.
He owns a 1,600-acre ranch in west Texas, which he purchased for $500,000.
His father, James Donald McConaughey, died of a heart attack in August 1992. He once played football for the Green Bay Packers.
His first professional acting job was in a beer commercial.
Fan of John Mellencamp's music. Was seen wearing a tee shirt from Mellencamp's "Whenever We Wanted" tour in A Time to Kill (1996).
McConaughey was on the sidelines with the Texas Longhorns football team during the 2006 Rose Bowl, when the Longhorns beat the USC Trojans 41-38.
Was accompanied by Penélope Cruz to the Grammy Awards in 2005. The couple met on the set of Sahara (2005).
Served as the Grand Marshall for the Daytona 500 in Daytona Beach, Florida in February 2005.
He traveled around the United States for a month in his personal Airsteam trailer promoting his movie Sahara (2005).
During a guest appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992), Leno surprised him with an old airline training tape he had acted in. McConaughey had no memory of being in the video.
His ancestry includes Scottish, English, Irish, Swedish, and German. On his father's side, he is related to Confederate Brigadier General Dandridge McRae, who was born in Baldwin County, Alabama, USA. One of Matthew's paternal great-grandfathers, Robert Smith Maitland, was a Scottish immigrant, who was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom; and one of Matthew's maternal great-grandmothers, Adele Selma Pack, was German, born in Elberfeld, Westphalia, Prussia, German Empire. The surname McConaughey is also of Scottish origin.
Despite being a native Texan, he's a big fan of the Washington Redskins NFL team.
People Magazine's 2005 Sexiest Man Alive.
Turned down a role in The Jackal (1997).
Was considered for a role in Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997).
His life motto is "Just Keep Living"
His brother, Michael McConaughey, aka Rooster McConaughey, had a son and named him Miller Lyte McConaughey.
He is well known as someone who almost never wears deodorant or cologne.
Has three bedrooms in his house and sleeps in all of them in turn.
Announced that he would be auctioning his 1971 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray on eBay, with all of the proceeds of the sale earmarked for donation Oprah Winfrey's Angel Network Hurricane Katrina and Rita relief funds.
Has worked with such well-known directors as Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis, Richard Linklater and Jonathan Mostow.
Good friends with Lance Armstrong and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Named one of People Magazine's "Hottest Bachelors" in 2006.
He was considered for the role of "Jack" in Titanic (1997). He then played "Dirk Pitt" (in Sahara (2005)), who found the Titanic in another adventure.
He has traveled around Mali in western Africa.
In November 2007 he bought a 3,500 square foot, 4 bed - 3 bath home in Malibu for $10 million. He was shopping for a home in the area and spotted the property - which was not on the market - and made an offer to the residents for the property, which was accepted.
Afraid of revolving doors.
He was inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame on March 10, 2006 in Austin, Texas. The other inductees were Kris Kristofferson, JoBeth Williams, Cybill Shepherd and Lyle Lovett.
His childhood hero was Evel Knievel, and he has said that he would like to star in a movie based on Knievel's life.
He has said that the superhero he would most like to play is The Hulk, but he doubts that it will happen since both Edward Norton and Eric Bana have played him. When someone asked him if he would consider playing Captain America he said that he thinks "Captain America is an awesome name".
Big fan of Willie Nelson.
Has his own line of clothing, called "j.k. livin," named for his life's motto, "Just Keep Living," which is also the name of his charitable foundation.
Had a dog named "Mrs. Hud," named in appreciation of the movie Hud (1963), which starred his favorite actor, Paul Newman.
He chews tobacco.
In 2006, he did an interview with Barbara Walters and was very happy with the way it was conducted. As a 'thank you', he gave Walters a foot-rub.
His favorite actor is Paul Newman.
Attended Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with his girlfriend, Camilla Alves (now Camila Alves McConaughey). [February 2008]
Played Brazilian music for eight straight hours in the operating room to help his then girlfriend, Camila Alves (now wife) Camila Alves McConaughey , give birth to their first child, Levi.
Traveled to France to support his good buddy, Lance Armstrong, during the 2009 Tour De France. [July 2009]
Good friend of singer-songwriter Jamey Johnson.
Was in attendance at the wedding of Reese Witherspoon to Jim Toth (26 March 2011).
His original career plan in college was to graduate with studies in pre-law, and then graduate law school, with the goal of becoming a criminal defense attorney, something he'd end up portraying in A Time to Kill (1996) and The Lincoln Lawyer (2011).
In Michael Connelly's novel "Nine Dragons", in which Micky Haller, the character McConaughey plays in The Lincoln Lawyer (2011), makes an appearance, a suspect claims that McConaughey is his alibi.
His first two L.A. auditions were for Angels in the Outfield (1994) and Boys on the Side (1995), in that order....both of which he landed, learning about being cast in "Boys on the Side" while physically on the set.
Engaged to Camila Alves [December 26, 2011].
Is a big fan of English rock band, The Cult. On 17 March 2012, at one of The Cult's performances in Austin, Texas, he even went onstage and played bongo drums with them during two songs.
Became a father for the 1st time at age 38, when his girlfriend [now wife] Camila Alves McConaughey gave birth to their son Levi Alves McConaughey on July 7, 2008.
Became a father for the 2nd time at age 40, when his girlfriend [now wife] Camila Alves McConaughey gave birth to their daughter Vida Alves McConaughey on January 3, 2010.
Became a father for the 3rd time at age 43, when his wife Camila Alves McConaughey gave birth to their son Livingston Alves McConaughey on December 28, 2012.
His mother Kay McConaughey appeared in Bernie (2011).
He is from the same small Texas town, Uvalde (2010 census population of 15,751), from which the late, former three-term Governor of Texas, Dolph Briscoe (after whom the post office is named); singer/actress Dale Evans; former Speaker of the US House of Representatives and former Vice President of the United States John Nance Garner; Grammy winning Tejano group Los Palominos; and long time NFL safety Vann McElroy call(ed) home.
One of his first acting jobs was in a music video for country music star Trisha Yearwood's song with Don Henley, "Walkaway Joe".
Lost over 30 pounds to play Ron Woodruff in his Oscar award winning role in Dallas Buyers Club (2013).
One of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World. [April 2014].
One of his paternal ancestors, Confederate Brigadier General Dandridge McRae, who fought to keep slavery in the South, was born in Baldwin County, Alabama. One of McConaughey's most famous early roles was portraying Roger Baldwin, one of the lawyers in Amistad (1997), a real life historical person, who fought to free captive slaves, and later became Governor of Connecticut and a US Senator. The lives of McRae (1829-1899) and Baldwin (1793-1863) overlapped in time from October 1829 when McRae was born, until February 1863, when Baldwin died, which was during the US Civil War, which McRae was fighting in at the time.
The marriage between Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves McConaughey was a private, Catholic Church ceremony, which took place in Austin, Texas, where they maintain a family residence for part of each year.

Personal Quotes (32)

Be the lean horse for the long ride. I figure I am in the third round of a 15 round fight. [on career philosophy]
(On himself) "My best quality is that I'm a big hearted person. I'm resilient, too. My worst quality is selfishness, although everyone is guilty of that to an extent. Everyone should be, I think -- you need to respect yourself."
Traveling is a great love of mine. I love South America and Africa. I'm your ultimate backpacker when I'm away. It's just me and my backpack. It's good for getting away from the industry.
(On how he got started in acting) I was about 21 when I started. I dropped out of law school to go to film school -- the idea of practicing law for my whole life seemed a little boring. I was doing more directing stuff to start with, until a student mate asked me to be in his film Dazed and Confused (1993). A professional guy named Don Phillips spotted me and the rest is history.
(On Hollywood) "I love it. It's silly to say that it is a world of false and stupid people. Sure there are witches and swindlers, but you can meet there many creative, talented and generous persons too. Hollywood is a pleasant place, when you are hip to the game and you enjoy it for what it is really."
[on shapely women] I see it more with black women, who get dressed up and they're wearin' everything to fit snug, and they're walking the walk. And you're like, 'Man, look at you go! Where did you get that?' She might be a larger package, but boy, she sure understands how she's wrapped.
(on working with Christian Bale in Reign of Fire (2002)) Christian is one of the finest actors I've ever had the privilege of working with. He's a giving actor, and he'll lay it on the line to get good results.
I want to be reincarnated as a jaguar. They're the coolest animals in the world. I came across one very briefly in the Manú National Park in Peru. I followed its tracks and got close enough to realize how beautifully self-contained it was. Jaguars are keen and they're perfectly poised. I'd sure love to be that well designed.
To understand me, you need to understand Texan logic. If you come from Texas, you're 100 per cent American but you'll do things the Texan way. We're independent. We've got our own way of doing things. Try to build fences round us and we'll run you out of town. I can go anywhere in the world but my spirit is still Texan and I recognize my own kind. There are no secret handshakes but when Texans meet there's a special fraternity.
I love taking advantage of my fame. If I go to the airport and get taken to the front of the line, I'm not going to protest. When I show up to see a band and I get whisked backstage, I like it. If I'm offered the use of a private jet, bring it on. But I draw the line at playing the, "Do you know who I am?" card and I refuse to have every little thing done for me. If you buy into all that, it will show up in your acting. The trick is to understand that being a good actor isn't playing a red-carpet celebrity. Fame is the by-product. If you don't see that, you'll be chasing your tail for a full decade ? and that makes a man dizzy. It's important to realize that fame is a dance, and I'd like to think I've got my dance down better now.
I'm a loner and proud of it. I can be the world's most sociable guy and I love few things more than throwing a barbecue for my crowd. But being alone is where it's mostly at for me. Nothing beats the feeling of taking off on my own and driving to wherever the road takes me. I'll drive as far as I can drive, 1,700 miles in one stretch if the mood takes me. When I left Ireland after filming Reign of Fire (2002), I went backpacking on my own in Africa for 26 days. I floated on the Niger River, raced camels in the Sahara Desert, had myself a blast.
"Just keep living" is the motto that keeps me moving forward. I've had that motto since I was 21. I was filming Dazed and Confused (1993), my father had just died, and I suddenly realized I was no longer a boy. My life's a lot bigger now. I have far more responsibilities. Also, it's been a long while since I was anonymous.
(on his favorite meal) You haven't lived until you've tasted my butt chicken. You get a can of beer and leave half of the liquid inside it. Throw a bunch of spices into the can, then stick that in the chicken and stand it up on the grill. The beer will start to boil and the spices begin to lubricate the chicken. Do it right and nothing on this earth tastes better ? no barbecue is complete without it. I cooked it up for Al Pacino while we were making Two for the Money (2005) - he dug it, man. All the proof I need.
It's amazing how quickly you shower when you think there might be a python in your room. There were heaps of weird creatures around in Queensland when we were shooting my latest film, Fool's Gold (2008). I had an 8ft python in the coconut tree in my back yard and a 6ft python in my shed. When I returned after three weeks, they'd gone. It's one thing having pythons in your garden and knowing they're there; it's a lot more unsettling knowing they're somewhere about but you don't know where. So I was going through every closet and checking under the bed. Every time I took a bath I got nervous. I'd be washing my hair with my eyes closed and be thinking, "What am I not seeing right now?" With pythons about, you quickly get used to sleeping with one eye open.
Who needs a house when you can live in a trailer? People tell me it's not a very Hollywood way to live but it happens to be my preference. I've lived in big houses and a big space gave me too many options. I had this amazing chair that I loved but I'd go months without sitting on it. I had some nice paintings on the walls but I'd hardly ever look at them. I realized I didn't need those things. So I went minimalist. My Airstream trailer is 28ft by 7ft and it's got everything I need, including TV and wireless internet. It's stress-free living because my choices are limited. My living space is so small that I can sit on the toilet and scramble eggs at the same time. How cool is that?
(on working with Woody Harrelson in Edtv (1999) and Surfer, Dude (2008)) My good man Woody Harrelson, man. Whatever it is, we turn each other on. We really have a comfort with each other. Always good value with Wood-man. Classic, classic wild man.
[on playing a man who operates out of his car, in The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)] Let's admit it, I was that guy. I've customized vans and Airstream trailers, and I know how to make a car my home.
{On doing The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)] It's nice to play a guy who is kind of a bottom-feeder. He's not about morals or ethics; he's about getting people off and getting it done any way he can. So he's pretty-street-smart, compared to my A Time to Kill (1996) guy.
(2011) I always loved to debate. I still do. I wanted to be a criminal defense lawyer at one point. And I always seem to be playing them.
(2011) I personally don't like to go see romantic comedies. But people do want to see them, and they seem to want to see me in them. And quite a few of them have been real successful. I like to think that they're not shallow --they're light. And it's hard work to keep them light, to keep the comedy buoyant. If you dig too deep in those, you kill them. In some ways, it's a lot easier to do something like The Lincoln Lawyer (2011). The punches hit, the bullets land and the consequences are life and death. I can click into that.
(2011, on his beginning actor days) I was waiting tables, picking up $1,500 here and there from commercials. I did a commercial for Miller Lite and made like $6,000-and that was huge!
(2011, on filming Angels in the Outfield (1994), then landing Boys on the Side (1995)) I was getting $48,500 just to act and play baseball. I thought I was rolling in dough. Two weeks into shooting that, I got called back to read for Herbert Ross and got that role (in Boys on the Side) too".
(2011, on sudden fame after A Time to Kill (1996)) The Friday before it came out, you could have shown my picture to 100 people and asked if they knew who I was and you'd have gotten 99 no's and one yes", he says. "And the next week, it flipped in the opposite direction. I remember walking down the street in Los Angeles the weekend the movie came out and all these people were looking at me. I remember checking my fly. There was a tremendous amount of frequency cast on me. The shift was so dramatic that, at times, it was overwhelming. Once the movie had opened, what I did to maintain my sanity was pack a backpack and get a one-way ticket to Peru. I checked out for 19 days and just hiked, anonymously, with no plan. I hiked Macchu Picchu and canoed the Amazon. I just needed to let time catch up with me.
(2011, on dealing with the paparazzi) I was tired of getting pissed off. It was legitimate but I was tired of it. I thought, well, am I ready to move to a place where they weren't? No, not for good. Was I ready to build fences or tall walls around my house? No. So I just shook hands with it and dealt with it. So, say I'm taking my kids to the beach. And the photographers are there. I just talk to them and say, 'OK, go ahead and take your picture. And then move on.' How many pictures do they need of me running on the beach? So far, they've mostly respected that. But you've got to have a relationship with that kind of thing if you go out in public because that check's already been written. Sure, I feel intruded upon. But I don't feel it's unfair. I can't do anything about it unless I move on or imprison myself, and I don't want to live like that.
[on working with teenage actors Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland in 'Mud'] They both reminded me that seeing everything for the first time is what acting is all about. So we were playing make-believe and having fun. It's good that they could see the lead arrive on time and when he did he knew his lines.They were definitely watching how I handled my business.
[on playing AIDS-challenged Ron Woodroof in 'The Dallas Buyers Club'] Stay with the anarchy of this guy. Stay with the bigoted bastard. Stay with the guy who's out for self-preservation. Stay with the guy who's a business man. The guy wants to be Scarface, man - the cause, and the crusader - and the activist will be revealed. Whether you like him or not, you respect him at the end of the story because you're like, 'I can't believe someone has the courage to be that much of an ass and can still sleep at night'.. This is a character who, like him or not, you're like, 'Well that's just who he is'. And if you can go 'that's who he is', then you get the human. And if you've got the human, he can be a bastard, a homophobe, a bigot, whatever.
[a memorable audition] Worst for me was a Lee Tamahori film. Went for a read for the part of a heavy. I knew going out, 'Man, you kind of gave 80 percent'. So I got in my truck and turned around - U-turn - came back in, walked right past the secretary, knocked the casting director out of the way, went right up to Tamahori and weight-nailed him against the wall. I grabbed the next guy and put him in the corner, grabbed like a spoon or something. I just wrecked the room and then left. I didn't hear back from 'em.
I didn't study acting before I got my first job. And I thought, 'Hey, maybe you're not the kind of actor that needs to study lines - you just know your man, and you show up and you just do it'. I go do this film 'Scorpion Spring', and I get this idea. 'I'm not gonna look at anything. I know what I am - the drug lord on the Mexican border in Texas. I'll just show up on the set, stay fresh and loose'. Well I get down there and I pick this scene, and it's a page-and-a-half monologue in Spanish. I felt this trickle of sweat. 'Um, can you give me twelve minutes?' And I said, 'Never again, man'.
[on 'The Dallas Buyers Club'] I really enjoyed working with Jean-Marc [Vallee]. He introduced me to Skype; I didn't know what Skype was. He didn't like the emails as much as talking in person, so we had many late nights sitting there discussing the script. We took a hell of a ride together.
[on the reaction to his dieting, losing 47 pounds for his role in 'The Dallas Buyers Club'] My daughter was looking at me, and she said,'Why is your neck long like a giraffe?' The giraffe's neck was the only comment I got from them. They saw the transformation day to day. Now, when I went to see someone who I hadn't seen in months, that's the people who would go crazy. It went from 'Is everything alright?' and then it got to 'Are you okay?'and the last one was, 'Oh my God, you're sick'. At that point I thought Ron was just the weight he needed to be.
[being cast opposite Woody Harrelson] Part of why we're friends and part of why we do what we do the way we do is that we're on each other's frequency. We add on, we affirm each other, and we one-up each other. It can turn into improv and it can go and go into the ether and then some.
[on his catchphrase] Those were actually the very first words I ever said on screen (in Dazed and Confused (1993)). 'Alright, alright, alright.' And do you know why I said 'alright' three times? I'm going to give you a callback to something I said five minutes ago. Because I'm in my car, I'm high, I've got my rock 'n' roll, but I don't have the chick. So I got three out of four that matter to me. So it's just alright, alright, alright! There's no fourth 'alright.' I gotta pull into the top notch and pick up the fourth.

Salary (5)

Angels in the Outfield (1994) $48,500
A Time to Kill (1996) $250,000
Amistad (1997) $1,000,000
The Wedding Planner (2001) $5,000,000
Sahara (2005) $8,000,000

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page