Matthew McConaughey covers the November issue of GQ and it’s one of the most comprehensive interviews I’ve ever read. Full stop. MM gave a lot of decent-to-good interviews last year during his Oscar campaign, but now that he’s successfully rebooted his entire career and become an Oscar-winner, Matthew has thoughts. Deep thoughts. About everything from the name “Redskins” to his rom-com past to God to… everything. You can read the full interview here (prepare yourself for the McConauniverse). Some highlights:
His rom-com past, his early fame: “I’ve never had fears that I was stuck in one thing. I’m sure we’re going to talk about the years when I was in romantic comedies and I was seen as the guy who was on the beach, running around shirtless. I did that. Damn right that was me. I wasn’t scared like, “Oh God, I’m going to be stuck here.” But I was like, I understand at some point that that is in italics now. [The italics part of my life] has two parts. One was the myth that was branded and created. Second, yeah, it’s me. I did Fool’s Gold in Australia, had a summer in Malibu, and made a surfer film—basically, when you edit those all together, it was one continuous ninety-degree day on the beach without a shirt. But also, I worked hard to live in Malibu, California. I’m going to the beach! I’m gonna go surfing! No, I don’t want to wear a shirt. I want to get a tan and feel the sun on my bones. And it’s Tuesday. You’re recording it? Good for you…. I’m not going to apologize for enjoying what I do.”
He’s proud of those rom-coms: “Absolutely. These things aren’t easy. What’s hard is to make them look easy. Those kinds of movies are what they are. They get pooh-poohed by critics. They get pooh-poohed by actors themselves. And in a way I get it, but in other ways it’s completely unfair. There’s a buoyancy you need to make them work. I believe I gave them buoyancy. And some of the shoots were very difficult, with me trying to fight for the balls on the guy…Look, I’m happy if you think I “cruised through” those. I did my work.
Babies are his secret weapon: “Never is a man more of a man than when he is the father of a newborn. Whatever decisions you make in the first six months of becoming a father, double down on them. I mean, you’re meeting the Courier. You’re meeting the Shepherd, the Future Prince. You immediately have something you don’t have to think about. You know what’s important. Bam! And the clarity of that is like, “Whew.” I definitely got more selfish. And at the same time, I think I got more compassionate, which don’t always go together, you know?
Being a lifelong Redskins fan, on whether they should change the name: “Man, it’s twofold. What interests me is how quickly it got pushed into the social consciousness. We were all fine with it since the 1930s, and all of a sudden we go, “No, gotta change it”? It seems like when the first levee breaks, everybody gets on board. I know a lot of Native Americans don’t have a problem with it, but they’re not going to say, “No, we really want the name.” That’s not how they’re going to use their pulpit. It’s like my feeling about gun control: “I get it. You have the right to have guns. But look, let’s forget that right. Let’s forget the pleasure you get safely on your range, because it’s in the wrong hands in other places.”
Whether it would hurt to see the Redskins logo gone: “It’s not going to hurt me. It’s just… I love the emblem. I dig it. It gives me a little fire and some oomph. But now that it’s in the court of public opinion, it’s going to change. I wish it wouldn’t, but it will.”
He goes to church every Sunday: “Yeah. In Texas. It’s non-denominational. It’s based in the faith that Jesus is the son of God, that he died for our sins, but many different denominations come in.
There’s so much more in that interview. I didn’t want to just give you the motherlode of McConaughquotes, but he talks a lot about going back to church after his kids were born, why he and Camilla decided to marry, how he feels about Lance Armstrong, and whether he thinks vanity is a good thing (spoiler: he believes in vanity). It’s a really fascinating interview and a lot of it is Classic McConaughey because he’s talking about space and time and the waves, bro. As for his stuff about the Washington Redskins… actually, I don’t think there are many Native Americans who are really A-OK with the name. The name needs to be changed. Bro.
Photos courtesy of Peggy Sirota/GQ.
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Matthew McConaughey covers GQ, talks God, rom-coms & the ‘Redskins’ name