Well known movie actor Matthew McConaughey has appeared in more than thirty motion pictures, is a member of the Texas Film Hall of Fame and and has been a part of the Austin film scene since his days as a student at the University of Texas. Born in Uvalde, Texas in 1969, Matthew McConaughey came to Austin in 1989 to attend the University of Texas and has kept his ties to Austin ever since, including filming a number of productions in the Austin and Central Texas area with local crews.
Matthew McConaughey originally intended to become a criminal defense lawyer, a role he ultimately portrayed in both the films A Time to Kill (1996) and The Lincoln Lawyer (2011), but before one of his final exams he read "The Greatest Salesman in the World" by Og Mandino. First published in 1968, this inspirational book encouraging abundance, joy and vigor in life convinced him to change his major from law to film.
A member of the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity, Matthew McConaughey lived at The Castilian residence hall at 2323 San Antonio Street and graduated in the spring of 1993 with a B.S. degree in Radio-Television-Film from the College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin. Matthew McConaughey has been an enthusiastic supporter of the UT athletic program and Longhorn football team ever since his days as a student at UT and he is often seen on game days on the UT sidelines or in his skybox at Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium. Matthew McConaughy recently filmed the first commercial for the newly formed Longhorn Network, a joint venture of ESPN and the University of Texas.
Matthew McConaughey's first professional acting job came while he still a student at UT in a beer commercial for Miller Lite. Shortly after graduating from the University of Texas, Matthew McConaughy met casting director Don Phillips at the bar in the Hyatt Regency on Barton Springs, who cast him in director (and fellow Austin resident) Richard Linklater's 1993 film “Dazed and Confused.”
Set in 1976, Dazed and Confused is a coming of age ensemble comedy filmed primarily in Austin and besides Matthew McConaughy featured a number of future stars including Jason London, Milla Jovovich and Ben Affleck. Matthew McConaughey's character of high school girl chasing Wooderson was written to appear in only three scenes in the movie, but the role grew to over 300 lines as Linklater developed the character through McConaughey's improvisations.
Among his most memorable lines in Dazed and Confused are, “That's what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age.” and “The older you get, the more rules they are going to try and get you to follow. You just gotta keep on livin', man.” Not only his motto for life today, "Just Keep Living" is the basis of the names of both his business enterprise and a foundation to help teenagers make healthy choices and lead active lives.
Matthew McConaughey's break out role as a Hollywood film star came in 1996 as the lawyer "Jake Brigance" in the film A Time to Kill, based on the John Grisham novel of the same name. It was during the filming of A Time to Kill that McConaughey met actress Sandra Bullock, who dubbed Matthew McConaughey "the Mayor of All Good Time." The two were romantically linked after the filming of A Time to Kill and often seen together around Austin.
Matthew McConaughey was an early supporter of the Austin Film Society, founded by director Richard Linklater. McConaughey's films The Newton Boys (directed by Linklater), Edtv, and U-571 all had premiers in Austin benefiting the Austin Film Society.
Directed by Ron Howard, the all-star cast of Edtv including Woody Harrelson, Ellen DeGeneres, Elizabeth Hurley, Sally Kirkland and Martin Landau and Howard himself flew into Austin by private jet the day after the Los Angeles premier for a Texas premiere at the Paramount Theater. There were doubts at the time that the theater's sound system would be sanctioned by Universal Pictures for the Texas premier because of the less-than-state-of-the-art sound system, but the cause was championed by Harry Knowles and his Ain't It Cool News web site and Howard, McConaughey and Paramount Pictures contributed the funds to upgrade the sound facilities at the Paramount Theater in Austin.
Matthew McConaughey lived for many years in west Austin and was infamously arrested by the Austin Police Department in October of 1999 for disturbing the peace by playing loud music on his stereo system and resisting arrest. At it happened, McConaughey was playing bongo drums in the nude at the time. According to McConaughey's own account, he was still celebrating the recent win of the University of Texas over Nebraska and had the windows open because it was a hot night.
McConaughey was so adamant about being in the right at the time of his arrest that he went all the way to the Austin Police Station on East 7th Street “buck-naked.” After spending ten hours in the Austin jail, he pled guilty and paid a fine of $50. McConaughey stated later that the moral of the story was that in Austin, “You can do whatever you want. Just shut the windows so you don't wake your neighbor." A depiction of Matthew McConaughey running naked through the streets of Austin with his bongo drums is included in the mural at the 23rd Street Renaissance Market off Guadalupe Street directly across from the University of Texas.
Today Matthew McConaughey maintains a home here in Austin with his wife, former model Camila Alves and their children, son Levi Alves McConaughey (born July 7, 2008), daughter Vida Alves McConaughey (born January 3, 2010, and son Livingston Alves McConaughy (born May 25, 2013). Matthew McConaughy also owns a 1,600-acre ranch in west Texas. McConaughey has relatives and many friends in Austin and is sometimes seen in Austin with his buddy cyclist Lance Armstrong.
McConaughey loves to play golf and his mother, Mary Kathleen "Kay" McCabe, lives at Del Webb's Sun City retirement community in Georgetown. McConaughey is sometimes seen on the golf course there with his mom. One of his two older brothers has a home outside of Dripping Springs, Texas.
Matthew McConaughey was inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame during the 2006 SXSW Film Festival in Austin. The most recent movie filmed with McConaughey in the Austin area is Bernie directed by Richard Linklater and co-starring Jack Black.