Matthew McConaughey filmography and biography
Date of birth: 4 November 1969, Uvalde, Texas, USA
Matthew McConaughey biography
The youngest son of a gas station owner, who ran an oil pipe supply business and mother - substitute school teacher, Matthew McConaughey was born in Uvalde, Texas, but 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. Once, in his hotel bar in Austin, he met the casting director and producer Don Phillips (I), 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, 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 The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, playing a mad bloodthirsty sadistic killer, opposite RenÃ©e Zellweger. Shortly thereafter moving to L.A., Matthew became a sensation with his performances in two high-profile 1996 films Lone Star, where he portrayed killing suspected sheriff and in the film adaptation of John Grisham's novel A Time to Kill, 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 (I). His following performances were Robert Zemeckis' Contact 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, 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, set in Matthew's birthplace, Uvalde, Texas. During this time, he also wrote, directed and starred in the 20-minute short The Rebel. Later, in Jonathan Mostow's U-571, 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, opposite Jennifer Lopez (I) and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days in which he co-starred with Kate Hudson (I). His most interesting role was playing Denton Van Zan, an American warrior and dragons hunter in the futuristic thriller Reign of Fire, where he co-starred with another young actor, Christian Bale.
Matthew McConaughey trivia
- His mother, Mary Kathleen "Kay" McCabe, is a schoolteacher.
- Lived briefly in Australia following high school and adopted an Australian accent for awhile after returning to the USA.
- Education: University of Texas at Austin (Film)
- Graduated 1988 from Longview High School, Longview, Texas.
- Younger brother of Rooster McConaughey.
- 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, Tx. in October. When they arrived, the music was blaring and he was playing bongo drums in the nude. He was with an unknown man and police attempted to arrest him after spotting illegal drugs. He resisted arrest.
- Was for some time strongly considered to play 'Jack Dawson' in Titanic, until Leonardo DiCaprio decided to accept the part.
- Travelled around Peru after filming A Time to Kill.
- Voted "Most Handsome" in his Senior year of high school.
- Member of Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity.
- His favorite sport is golf.
- 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.
- Born on the same day as 'Sean 'P. Diddy Combs.
- Was on the sidelines of the Texas Longhorns during the 2006 Rose Bowl where the Longhorns beat the USC Trojans 41-38.
- Was accompanied by PenÃ©lope Cruz to the Grammy Awards in 2005. The couple met on the set of Sahara.
- 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.
- During a guest appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Leno surprised him with an old airline training tape he had acted in. McConaughey had no memory of being in the video.
- Is of Irish descent
- Despite being a native Texan, he's a big fan of the Washington Redskins NFL team.
- People Magazine's 2005 Most Sexiest Man Alive
- Turned down a role in The Jackal.
- Was considered for a role in Speed 2: Cruise Control.
- His life motto is "Just Keep Living"
- His brother, Michael McConaughey, aka Rooster McConaughey, had a son and named him Miller Lyte McConaughey.
- Doesn't wear deodorant or cologne.
- Has three bedrooms in his house and sleeps in all of them in turn.
- Announced that he is auctioning his 1971 Chevy Stingray Corvette on Ebay, and donating all the money to Oprah'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 (I) and Jake Gyllenhaal.
- Named one of People Magazine's "Hottest Bachelors" in 2006.
- He was considered for the role of "Jack" in Titanic. He then played "Dirk Pitt" (in Sahara), 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 (I), JoBeth Williams, Cybill Shepherd and Lyle Lovett.
- Has 2 children with his girlfriend, Camila Alves (I); son, Levi Alves McConaughey (born July 7, 2008) weighing in at 7 lb. 4 oz. and daughter, Vida Alves McConaughey (born January 3, 2010) weighing in at 7 lbs., 7 oz.
- 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 (I) and Eric Bana (I) 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".
- Had a dog named "Mrs. Hud", after the movie Hud.
- 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 (I).
- (Feb. 2008) Attended Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with his girlfriend.
- Played Brazilian music for eight straight hours in the operating room to help his girlfriend, Camila Alves (I), give birth to their child, Levi.
- (July 2009) Traveled to France to support his good buddy, Lance Armstrong (I), during the 2009 Tour De France.
- Matthew and Camila Alves (I) became the parents of their first child, a boy named Levi Alves McConaughey, on July 7, 2008, weighing in at 7 lb. 4 oz.
- Good friend of singer-songwriter Jamey Johnson.
- Was in a relationship with A Time to Kill co-star Sandra Bullock. They met while filming the movie together.
Matthew McConaughey quotes
- "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. A professional guy named Don Phillips (I) 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) 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 ManÃº 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, 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, 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 - 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). 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 and Surfer, Dude) 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.