Matthew McConaughey is one of Hollywood’s most sought after leading men whose films have grossed over a billion dollars at the box office. He is a Texas native who, while attending the University of Texas in Austin, planned to be a lawyer. When he discovered an inspirational Og Mandino book The Greatest Salesman in the World before one of his final exams, he suddenly knew that he had to change his major from law to film.
McConaughey began his acting career in 1991, appearing in student films and commercials in Texas and directing short films. It was a chance meeting in Austin with casting director and producer, Don Phillips, who introduced him to director, Richard Linklater where he was cast as Wooderson in the cult classic Dazed and Confused. Since that time McConaughey has appeared in over 40 feature films, and has become a producer, director, and philanthropist all the while sticking to his Texas roots and ‘jk livin’ philosophy. Over the years, he has portrayed an athlete, a police officer, a football coach, and a lawyer, and has worked with Hollywood greats such as Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemekis, Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster, Sandra Bullock, and Al Pacino to name a few.
2012 is going to be a film-packed year for Matthew McConaughey. In addition to Bernie, Matthew will star in the dark drama Killer Joe directed by the legendary William Friedkin. In Summer of 2012, McConaughey can also be seen in the Warner Bros release Magic Mike directed by Steven Soderbergh. The film also stars Channing Tatum and Alex Pettyfer and centers around the life of a male stripper. To round the year out, Matthew just completed production on the Lee Daniels film, The Paperboy with Nicole Kidman and Jeff Nicols’ Mud with Reese Witherspoon.
McConaughey’s other film credits include The Lincoln Lawyer, adapted from the hit novel series by best-selling author, Michael Connelly, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past opposite Michael Douglas and Jennifer Garner, Ben Stiller’s wildly successful action comedy, Tropic Thunder, the critically acclaimed drama We Are Marshall, the inspiring story of a small West Virginia town’s struggle with devastating loss, Fool’s Gold opposite Kate Hudson by director Andy Tennant and opposite Al Pacino in the drama Two for the Money.
In addition he starred in the action adventure comedy Sahara, with Penelope Cruz and Steve Zahn. He earned a People’s Choice Award for his role in the film, which opened at the top of the weekend box office and marked the first major motion picture produced by his production company, j.k. livin productions. Later they would also produce and release Surfer, Dude.
Additional film credits include: the popular romantic comedies Failure to Launch, with Sarah Jessica Parker, and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, opposite Kate Hudson; the sci-fi adventure Reign of Fire, with Christian Bale; the ensemble drama Thirteen Conversations About One Thing; the horror thriller Frailty, written and directed by Bill Paxton; and Adam Shankman’s hit romantic comedy The Wedding Planner, opposite Jennifer Lopez, the World War II action drama U-571, Ron Howard’s EDtv, Steven Spielberg’s Amistad, Robert Zemeckis’ Contact, and Joel Schumacher’s critically acclaimed courtroom drama A Time to Kill, as well as Lone Star, Angels in the Outfield, The Newton Boys, and The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
In addition to his film career, Matthew also takes the time to give back. In 2008, he started The just keep livin Foundation which is dedicated to helping boys and girls transform into men and women through programs that teach the importance of decision making, health, education, and active living. The just keep livin Foundation has partnered with Communities in Schools in West Los Angeles to implement fitness and wellness programs in two large, urban high schools. CIS is the nation’s largest, non-profit, dropout prevention organization. Through the j.k. livin afterschool program, they are able to give kids a healthy start in life and the promise of a healthy future. The official website is: www.jklivinfoundation.org
This biography/filmography of Matthew McConaughey is courtesy of Millennium Entertainment and the film, Bernie