Ever since the Oscars, it seems like everyone suddenly cares about the Matthew McConaughey stories that only McConaughey scholars like myself used to care about. I won’t complain about you Matty Come Latelies, I’m just glad we’re all here now. McConaughey is one of cinema’s most interesting characters, a guy whose life just seemed to work out from the word go. He got cast in Dazed and Confused as a college junior when he met the casting director at a bar. Once he moved to LA, he booked parts in his first two auditions, including a baseball player part in Angels in the Outfield that he got when he walked in wearing a cap he bought at a convenient store, simply because he looked like a baseball player. Like I said, a history of things just working out. Compared to Matthew McConaughey, the rest of us are the sperm that never reached the egg.
Following up yesterday’s story about the origin of “Alright Alright Alright,” I thought I’d re-share one of my favorite Matthew McConaughey stories, from his appearance on Fresh Air earlier this year. The story is about a teenage McConaughey, and how his nutty-as-hell mother thought a mink oil treatment made by a company she repped cosmetics for might be a good treatment for his then-problematic acne.
“So I start doing the mink oil masks at night, and my face is starting to swell up, and I’m developing really bad acne. I talked to my dad’s secretary, who turned my mom onto it (the mink oil), I’m really concerned. And the lady’s like, ‘Wow, you just sure have a lot of impurities, Matthew. Keep it up! And we’ll just pull all of the impurities out, and you’ll never have a blemish again.’”
He gets worse and worse until he finally sees a dermatologist who tells him to stop putting oil on his already oily face. He gets better, and his mother thinks that they have a lawsuit on their hands, against the cosmetics company that inflicted such “emotional distress” with their terrible medical advice. She actually goes through with it, and the case progresses for years. Until one day, Matthew McConaughey is being deposed by the opposing attorney, who pulls out a piece of evidence so damning that it scuttles the entire case: McConaughey’s senior class yearbook, where his Texas classmates have voted him “Most Handsome.”
“My dad jacked with me, and my brothers, for years they’d say to me, ‘Man, we almost won a $30,000 lawsuit! And you gotta go win most handsome. You son of a bitch.'”
Can you imagine if the “embarrassing childhood story” that your family always tells was about how you screwed everything up by being too handsome?