"Matthew McConaughey"

Primary Author: Adam Westerbur and Alamdar Khan

The primary authors are the individuals who drafted the first version of the material which could have been different than the currently published version.

Matthew David McConaughey was born on 4 November 1969 in Uvalde, Texas. His parents were James and Mary McConaughey. His father was an ex-pro football player for the Green bay Packers and owned a gas station where he ran an oil pipe supply business. His mother was a substitute teacher.

McConaughey attended school at Longview High School in Longview, Texas. Not only did he accomplish a lot in high school and get voted "Most Handsome," he often partied on the weekends. After graduating in 1988, he decided not to be a part of his father's business. Iinstead, he moved to Warnervale, South Wales, Australia as an exchange student. There he did odd jobs like wash dishes and clean chicken feces. When he returned to the United States, he went to school at the University of Texas to become a lawyer. With the end of law school approaching, he was inspired by Og Mandino's book, The Greatest Salesmen in the World. After reading this book he decided to change his major from law to film.

Around 1991, McConaughey began his acting career by posing for beer commercials and acting in films that students made. In 1992, he directed his own short film called, Chicano Chariots, a film about low rider cars. By 1993, he graduated from college with a Bachelors Degree in Film Production. That same year he met film director, Don Phillips in a hotel bar in Austin, Texas. Phillips then introduced him to Richard Linklater who was directing a film with Phillips called, Dazed and Confused (1993), a movie about high school and junior high students on their last day of school in 1976. McConaughey earned a roll as David Wooderson, a 20-year-old pothead who still hangs out with high school kids. He originally was only supposed to appear in three scenes, but then got around 300 lines added to the script because he played a good character.

The next film he starred in was The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1994) where he played as the killer, Vilmer. This movie is about a group of teenagers who get into a car crash on prom night and wander into the woods where they find themselves in the home of psychopaths.

After playing in many movies and starting off with a successful career, his career took a tumble in 1999. His brother turned his back on him and the family by revealing all of their family secrets. He was also found with possession of marijuana.

One night, a neighbor called about noise complaints coming from McConaughey's home. When the cops arrived, they found him playing the bongo drums nude with actor Cole Hauser. After spending a night in prison, he was released and only had to pay a $50 fine. "I don't want to rent a place there, but it was a nice stay for a night," said McConaughey.

Once he got back on his feet, he appeared in many movies from the year 2000-2005 such as U-571 (2000), The Wedding Planner (2001), Reign of Fire (2002), How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2005), and Sahara (2005). For the movie, Sahara, he traveled to West Africa where he learned how to ride camels and to use weapons. He also took a solo trip to Mali to study the country's location and conditions.

McConaughey started a foundation called "J.K. Livin" in 2008. This foundation was created to help high school boys and girls live healthy lifestyles. Not only does it help kids stay out of trouble, but also it gives them something to do after school. The name stands for "just keep living," a slogan he lived by after his father passed away. Originally located in Venice, California, J.K. Livin expanded to Dallas, Austin, and New Orleans. At each location they meet on school campuses twice per-week for two hours. During this time, they exercise, practice healthy diets, and learn important life skills such as respect and staying positive.

Since the start of J.K. Livin, they have impacted about 2,000 teens and support 200 kids per-group. Studies showed that 75% of kids improved in school, 96% improved their behavior, and 81% improved their attendance. The group continues to grow, kids improve their lifestyles, and they also feel they have a sense of protection from negative influences.

On 7 July 2008, his girlfriend, Camila Alves, gave birth to their son, Levi Alves McConaughey. On 3 January 2010, their daughter, Vida Alves McConaughey, was born. They had their third child, Livingston Alves McConaughey, on 28 December 2012 and also married Camila the same year.

McConaughey has recently performed in Magic Mike (2012) and Dallas Buyers Club (2013). He won an Academy Award for Best Actor in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) and he played in Interstellar (2014).

The new TV series True Detective (2014) on which he played Detective Rust Cohle was one of his most recent roles. Woody Harrelson played Detective Marty Hart. This show was about two detectives from Louisiana who are trying to solve a long-term murder case.

McConaughey continues to have a successful career as an actor and is still involved with J.K. Livin, as well as with his family.

Works Consulted


Matthew McConaughey in Reign of Fire