Matthew McConaughey’s Memoir On His Childhood & Life – 10 Deep Insights To Convince You
Matthew McConaughey opens up in his new memoir, Greenlights. The book brings in some interesting aspects from the actor's life. He talks about his childhood, life and career and surprisingly enough, he is not afraid to mention some things most people would not like to talk about. From losing his virginity in an unusual way to his father's death, this book is eye opening and likely to surprise the readers.
The following summary contains spoiler. Read if you want to get insight into the book.
The actor admits he tells stories from his past, but without feeling nostalgic or sentimental about it. It is not based on a classic memoir that brings in good memories. It is not an advice book either. Instead, it provides a deep insight into his life. All in all, here are some of the spiciest takeaways from this new release.
He discovered himself in Australia
Before gaining international recognition, McConaughey used to live in Australia. He was an exchange student and just like most students, he was trying to find means to make some extra money in order to support himself and enjoy the supposedly best years of his life.
As a direct consequence, he tried all kinds of jobs. He was a bank teller initially, but he moved on to boat mechanics and photo processing. Later on, he became a barrister's assistant and moved on to construction work and golf assistance. There was a bit of everything, but these ventures did help.
According to his own words, life abroad helped him become who he is. His years in Australia shaped him and had him discover his purpose in life. He also learned that life is hard and unexpected situations may arise when least expected.
The actor does not encourage others to do the same things. It was just what worked for him – a mix of both fortunate and unfortunate incidents that he learned from.
He was about to leave Hollywood
McConaughey was not always happy about his career. At some point, he became one of the top options for romantic comedies. He starred in a few good ones – The Wedding Planner or How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. But then, he started questioning his career and considered leaving it all behind.
The actor claims he was getting more inner happiness from his actual traveling experiences than from his career. He was into sports, sales, music and education – not really into romantic comedies. He considered becoming a teacher or perhaps a football coach. He was not really sure, but he knew for a fact that romantic comedies were not his thing.
In 2008, he decided to walk away from comedies. A couple of years later, he refused a role for $14.6 million and left Hollywood for a bit. It was a breakdown for him, but luckily, his wife Camila was there to keep him on track. Plus, he had an infant son and a new daughter to look after.
The break to reinvent himself paid off. By 2014, McConaughey gained an Oscar and a few other major awards for Dallas Buyers Club.
He was blackmailed to lose his virginity
The beginning of the book brings in some spicy things from the actor's life. In the attempt to help readers understand what to expect, he came up with a few interesting facts about himself. One of them covers losing his virginity when he was 15 years old, while another one discusses being molested at 18.
He was blackmailed to have sex when he was 15 only. As a religious boy, it was a pretty shocking experience. But now, he sees things differently. He was also molested by a man when he was 18. A man knocked him unconscious in a van and took advantage of him.
There are no further details about these experiences in the book. However, the actor admits he got over them pretty easily. He thinks there are more important things in life that keep him happy.
His father died during sex
McConaughey's parents Mary and James did not have the best relationship in the world. In fact, it was quite toxic. They married thrice and divorced twice. His father was not even there on the day he was born, but he had one concern. He asked his mother to avoid the name Kelly if the baby was a boy.
His parents kept fighting all the time, only to get back together. His mother once invited his father to their own wedding and gave him 24 hours to device. At some point, his father broke his mother's middle finger, only to get it out of his face. This was the type of communication they have.
Furthermore, the actor's father once told his kids that he would be making love to their mother before he goes. And this is exactly what happened. The couple was having sex and his father had a heart attack.
He never wanted to get married
Until he met Camila Alves… The actor mentions he had dated some beautiful women. In fact, some of his relationships made it to the press as well. He is still friends with many of these women, but he agrees they were all stops – no stays there.
During his 30s, he was looking for the love of his life. He wanted a great woman to become his best friend and lifetime lover. He was looking for a family, but he gave up before happening. He thought he would never settle down. But one day, she came.
Now, more than 15 years later, the couple is still together. They married in 2012, have three children and a happy relationship.
According to his own words, Camila is the only woman he has ever wanted to go out with, sleep with, start a family with and wake up next to.
He had a messy childhood
His childhood was a bit messy, but there were many moments he actually learned from. The actor recalls a series of conflicts with his parents – some of them helpful in shaping his character too. For instance, he was once hit in the face because he stole some pizza. That moment could have turned him into a man in his father's eyes, but he choked and did not do anything. He failed becoming a man in his father's eyes.
He proved himself to his father later on. The two were out when there was a conflict with a bouncer. McConaughey beat him up while his father watched. That night, they became good friends. It was another test and this time, he succeeded.
His high school years were great. He got an award for the most handsome guy in the school, he was one of the best students, and he had a decent job and some great dates. He was dating the hottest girl in the school, so everything was going well.
On a funny note, his father once tried to sue an oil manufacturer for giving his son acne. However, the case was lost because McConaughey won the most handsome award, meaning the oil side effects were irrelevant.
He was dazed and confused
Dazed and Confused was the first movie in McConaughey's career. He initially joined a talent agency finding projects around Texas. His first projects involved being a hand model – nothing too fancy. But at some point, he became Wooderson in Dazed and Confused – all because of a funny impression of one of his brothers.
The actor ended up in a scene that was not even in the script. It was pretty basic, but somehow, that scene became iconic. Alright, alright, alright! Everyone knows that line and it is still commonly used these days.
He worked on Dazed and Confused for three weeks. His character barely had three scenes, so he was quite anxious about it. It was his first role anyway. Now, about three decades later, these words still follow him. People say them when they see him. You can find hats and caps with them and some people have them tattooed on their bodies.
Back then, this movie looked like nothing but a hobby project, but his side hobby became a career.
He lost weight for a role
McConaughey's break from acting was great. He came back for better roles. He did it at the right time – he was about to become that classic romantic comedy actor that no one really takes too seriously. When back, he landed some good roles in movies like Killer Joe, The Paperboy, Magic Mike and Dallas Buyers Club. The last movie in the list brought him his first Oscar.
In order to star in Dallas Buyers Club, the actor had to lose a lot of weight. He was about 182 pounds when he took the role. Five months later, he was ready for the role. His diet was quite impressive and unsurprisingly, he was dedicated enough to stick to it for that long.
He had to eat three egg whites for breakfast, not more than five ounces of fish and a cup of vegetables for lunch and dinner. The good thing about this diet? He could have as much wine as he wanted, which kept him on track.
When he reached 157 pounds, he got a call from Martin Scorsese. He was given a role in The Wolf of Wall Street – he was supposed to be Mark Hanna – Leonardo DiCaprio's mentor in the movie. He went through the script, only to find out that his role could only achieve greatness with hookers and cocaine. At that point, he gave up.
Instead, he worked on Dallas Buyers Club. The movie needed less than $5 million and it took less than four weeks to do. He went down to 135 pounds. He got his first Oscar, which was one of his goals. In fact, he explains he came up with 10 goals in 1992 and one of them involved getting an Oscar for the best actor. Other goals implies becoming a father and finding the perfect woman.
He had funny relationships with fame and God
McConaughey started opening doors at Hollywood, but he was struggling a bit. Released in 1996, A Time to Kill was a changing point in his career. Before the opening weekend, he had about 100 scripts to look at. Only one of them was worth it. The Monday after? It was different. Out of 100 scripts, one was a no and the other 99 were great.
Fame kicked in after a weekend only. He was a sought after actor and he had offers from all directions. He had no idea what to pick. He had no clue what was real and what was not. “It was time to bend my knee bone.”
As he gained international fame, his relationship with his mother became a bit sketchy. At some point, she decided to give a television station a tour of the house he grew up in, but without telling him. There were eight years of confusion, especially as it seemed his mother was more in love with fame than he was.
On the same note, fame has also made him question his relationship with God. He once had a dream about floating down the Amazon, so he took a 22 day trip to explore the river. He had no idea which way he was going, “still wrestling with my identity.” He tried to rediscover himself stripping naked and feeling like “a child of God.”
As soon as he came back from his trip, he took a role in Contact, along with Jodie Foster.
He married Camila
His first child was a reason of joy and happiness – not for his mother though. She was upset the couple was not married, but the actor did not care much. He popped the question later on, in 2011. His oldest son asked him why the mother's last name was not McConaughey, so he decided to make the big step.
The wedding took place in 2012. It spread over three days and welcomed 88 guests.Get the Book