First Crushes, Celibacy and Losing Titanic to Leo! 10 Revelations from Matthew McConaughey's Playboy Interview
In a new sit-down with Playboy, Matthew McConaughey reveals he once considered becoming a monk and more
The McConaissance wasn’t about ditching his rom-com days.
After taking some time off following a string of romantic-comedies, McConaughey re-emerged as the leading man in several critically-acclaimed projects.
“I didn’t rebrand in those 18 months; I unbranded,” said the 47-year-old. “I became some people’s good new idea. People bring up the romantic-comedy years as though I’m another person, another actor. It was the same car, same engine, same me. I just shifted to another gear.”
He never dreamed he’d win an Oscar.
Of nabbing the Academy Award in 2013’s Dallas Buyer’s Club, McConaughey told Playboy: “That was never something that showed up on my bucket list. But a nomination, let alone a win, would have made me extremely proud of the work we did, and happy too. I liked the film a lot—the experience of making it. That was already a big win.”
His parents’ romance was definitely tumultuous.
“My mom and dad divorced twice and married three times,” the star said of mom Kay McCabe and Jim McConaughey. “They were wild, and it was very physical and rocky waters, man. They went way past raising their voices. My mom’s middle fingers broke four times because of popping my dad on the forehead until he finally had to go snap. Mom to this day is the first one to say, ‘I asked for that. I needed that to communicate.’ “
He also revealed some interesting details of his father’s 1992 death. “My father did die making love to my mother, by the way. That captures a lot of who my mom is,” McConaughey said.
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He once had a crush on Cher.
Plenty of celebrities stole McConaughey’s heart when he was just a young Texan – including Lisa Bonet and Cher, who were among those featured in his poster collection.
“I remember unrolling the poster of Farrah Fawcett in the backseat of the car with my brother and I was like, ‘Pat, you know the nipple shows through,’ and our mom caught me doing that, took it from me and wouldn’t let me hang it,” he revealed. “Oh, Jessica Lange in the second King Kong, getting off the boat in those short-shorts. Wow. There was also a moment with Sarah Jessica Parker in Honeymoon in Vegas.”
He learned the birds-and-the-bees not long before losing his virginity.
“I think I was 14 when Dad and I had our birds-and-bees talk,” McConaughey said, adding, “It was a man-to-man, son-to-dad talk. It was really cool and kind of took taboos off things.”
A year or so later, McConaughey lost his virginity. “It’s a great story but one I’m going to keep for myself,” he said.
He thought about becoming a monk.
“In 1988 I went to Australia as an exchange student,” shared McConaughey. He added of his time in Sydney, “I became a very unhealthy vegetarian. I started running six miles a day. I lost a lot of weight. I became celibate and concerned about racism, bigotry. I actually thought that I should become a monk.”
After returning home and attending the University of Texas, at least one thing from his time abroad stuck: the accent.
“For about a year, I let everyone believe I was Australian,” he said. “I was still having fun with my Australian accent. Girls thought I was cute and obviously I was getting my sense of humor back. When I stopped, it was like, ‘What happened to your accent?’ “
He thinks highly of ex Sandra Bullock.
McConaughey first met Sandra Bullock on the set of their 1996 drama A Time To Kill.
“We dated for a while after A Time to Kill, and we’re still friends,” he told Playboy. “She and I have another version of our relationship to put on film, and we’re looking for something. She’s not a little girl. She’s a woman. She could run a country.”
He still doesn’t see what the big deal was with that bongo incident.
In a now-infamous 1999 incident, McConaughey was arrested for suspicion of possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting transportation after neighbors called in a noise complaint because the actor was dancing naked and playing bongo drums.
“I saw the cop’s eyes get big when he identified me, and it became, ‘Oh, look what we’ve got here,’ ” McConaughey said. “My first call was to my mother. I was feeling guilty because I was not raised to be in jail.”
He added, “What’s wrong with beating on your drums in your birthday suit? I have no regrets about the way I got there. But what’s the lesson? Shut the window that has the beautiful scent of jasmine blowing in because it’s two in the morning and you might wake a neighbor.”
He’s been “selfishly” faithful to wife Camila Alves.
McConaughey and Alves tied the knot in 2012, and according to the star, he’s been a dedicated husband ever since.
“I have been very faithful with my wife, very selfishly,” he said. “I like being under her spell. I don’t want to break that spell.”
He was almost king of the world.
“It was one of those auditions where I left and thought I had it,” he shared of his Titanic audition. “I really enjoyed it. Kate Winslet really enjoyed it. That was a huge opportunity. But [James] Cameron liked Leonardo DiCaprio better.”