The Oscar winner stars as a fishing-boat captain in the new thriller Serenity


Matthew McConaughey woke up one morning with a mysterious ailment.

Speaking to PEOPLE exclusively for the magazine’s One Last Thing page, the Oscar winner, 49, reveals he and wife Camila Alves, 36, had been debating the benefits of a new bed at home.

“I’m thinking that I want to get a firmer mattress,” the actor says. “Our mattress presently has a pillowtop — and my back hasn’t been hurting. I took the pillowtop off two nights ago and I sleep on that mattress without it and I woke up the next morning like I’d been bucked from a bull in a rodeo.”

Currently promoting his role as a fishing-boat captain in the new thriller Serenity — which also stars Anne Hathaway — McConaughey didn’t have time to slow down. “My lower back was so damn sore,” he says. “So now my question is: Is that because my back is self-correcting because it was on a firm, firm, firm mattress? Or do I just need the pillowtop?”

'Serenity' film photocall, Los Angeles, USA - 11 Jan 2019
Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway
| Credit: Broadimage/Shutterstock

The actor decided to seek professional help to solve the dilemma. “I’m going right now to go get physical therapy on it,” he adds. “I’m like, what the hell? It’s the damnedest thing.”

For more of McConaughey’s exclusive interview, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now

Asked about his last moment of pride, the former Sexiest Man Alive insists it revolved around creating what he deems “my favorite bourbon on the planet” — Wild Turkey Longbranch. “Just about a year ago, it was a new venture for me,” McConaughey says. “For over two years I wrote notes on samples and at about the two-year mark, I found the perfect liquid for Longbranch.”

Mack, Jack & McConaughey Presents Dixie Chicks In Concert
Matthew McConaughey and wife Camila Alves
| Credit: Rick Kern/WireImage

The actor believes his resilience most definitely paid off. “On the other end, they were like, ‘C’mon!’ I was like, ‘Nope, not yet,'” he recalls. “‘Yes, I’m enjoying this but I’m not saying yes until we’ve got it just right.’ And when we did, that was a moment of pride. Two years is a long time!”