Last year, Matthew McConaughey played a cowboy stripper named Dallas, and this week the Texas-bred actor portrays the man who started the real-life Dallas Buyers Club. But there won’t be any scandalous shirt-ripping or butt-less chaps in this heavy drama.
"Dallas Buyers Club" tells the true story of Ron Woodroof (McConaughey), a homophobic Texas electrician who is diagnosed with HIV in 1986 and given 30 days to live. Unable to get effective medicine due to government legal restrictions, Woodroof smuggles drugs into the country and starts a Buyers Club to help other AIDS patients. McConaughey lost an astonishing 50 pounds for the role, which critics are already calling the best performance of his career.
While you’ve seen McConaughey do everything from tearing a courtroom apart to tearing his clothes off, you may not know everything about him. From his nude, bongo-playing arrest to his odd body hygiene choices, here are 20 things you probably don’t know about Matthew McConaughey.
1. In college, McConaughey’s original career plan was to become a criminal defense lawyer, something he ending up portraying in "A Time to Kill" and "The Lincoln Lawyer."
2. He briefly lived in Australia following high school and adopted an Australian accent for a while after returning to the US.
3. In October 1999 McConaughey was arrested for "resisting transportation" after police found him playing bongo drums loudly in the nude and spotted illegal drugs. That’s not your typical celebrity sighting.
5. McConaughey was voted "Most Handsome" in his senior year of high school.
6. His father, James Donald McConaughey, played football for the Green Bay Packers. He died of a heart attack in August 1992.
7. His childhood hero was daredevil Evel Knievel, and McConaughey has said that he would like to star in a movie based on Knievel’s life.
8. McConaughey traveled around the United States for a month in his personal Airsteam trailer promoting his 2005 movie "Sahara."
9. He’s a big fan of English rock band The Cult. In March 2012, when The Cult performed in Austin, Texas, McConaughey went onstage and played bongo drums with them for two songs.
10. He has said he doesn’t wear deodorant or cologne. We’re not sure we agree with that decision.
11. McConaughey launched his own men’s clothing line earlier this year called JKL. The name is from his Just Keep Livin Foundation, which he started in 2008 after the death of his father.
12. He auctioned off his 1971 Chevy Stingray Corvette on Ebay and donated all the money to Oprah‘s Angel Network Hurricane Katrina and Rita relief funds.
13. McConaughey did an interview with Barbara Walters in 2006 and gave her a foot massage at the end. Not every interviewer gets a rub down.
14. He was inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame on March 10, 2006, in Austin, Texas.
15. McConaughey was on the sidelines cheering on the Texas Longhorns during the 2006 Rose Bowl. The Longhorns beat the USC Trojans 41-38.
16. His first two L.A. auditions were for "Boys on the Side" and "Angels in the Outfield," both of which he landed parts in.
17. He served as the Grand Marshall for the Daytona 500 in Daytona Beach, Florida in February 2005.
18. In 2006, McConaughey rescued a cat from two youths who had doused it in hairspray and were attempting to set it on fire.
19. He played Brazilian music for eight straight hours in the operating room to help his now-wife, Camila Alves, give birth to their child, Levi.
20. McConaughey is good friends with Lance Armstrong and traveled to France to support him in the 2009 Tour De France.