This story is from the April issue of Cigar Aficionado magazine with Matthew McConaughey on the cover. It’s been on newsstands for a while, but I picked it up in my local CVS and was pleased to see some new quotes I had read yet from McConaughey, who was recently unnecessarily bashed in Esquire by a journalist with a chip on his shoulder. (Thanks to all of you who pointed out that this was the same guy who made Brooklyn Decker look like an idiot, which she very well may be, but still.) The story in Cigar Aficionado is the one that McConaughey deserved in Esquire, because he comes across as thoughtful, introspective and grateful for his success in life. They quote people close to him who praise his career moves and talk about what a great guy he is. This is the impression I get of him in every interview and while I understand that he can be up his own ass sometimes, he’s a harmless stoner and they have that tendency. There’s no reason to paint a skewed picture of the guy because of it.
There are a lot of gems in this interview and it’s a shame they haven’t been more publicized. I love McConaughey’s take on the paparazzi particularly. He sees it as part of his job, and he’ll work out deals with them to leave him alone after they get their shots. Here are some of my favorite quotes from this article, and I would recommend you pick up the March/April issue of Cigar Aficionado if you’re a fan. It’s a very interesting and well written piece.
On public opinion making the law
“Public opinion is the tail wagging the dog, which is the law. It should be inverted. We elect these people because they supposedly know the law. Experts supposedly make the law. Judges are judges because they’re supposed to know the law. But when the public shouts first, public opinion creates a verdict before something even gets to court.
On Michael Vick
“Look at the Michael Vick thing. The NFL didn’t go hard on him, until public opinion said, ‘Hang him.’ Then the feds and the NFL stepped in. I don’t think the penalty would have been what it was until the public’s outrage was expressed. I’m not saying he shouldn’t have served time. But look at all the high profile people who’ve been allowed to stay free while doing heinous things to other people. But you create any kind of smoke and a team or an institution is going to say, ‘We don’t like this attention,’ and they’ll fire him.”
On how he deals with the paparazzi
“I was tired of getting pissed off. It was legitimate but I was tired of it. I though, well, am I ready to move to a place where they weren’t? No, not for good. Was I ready to build fences or tall walls around my house? No. So I just shook hands with it and dealt with it.
“So, say I’m taking my kids to the beach. And the photographers are there. I just talk to them and say, ‘OK, go ahead and take your picture. And then move on.’ How many pictures do they need of me running on the beach? So far, they’ve mostly respected that. But you’ve got to have a relationship with that kind of thing if you go out in public because that check’s already been written. Sure, I feel intruded upon. But I don’t feel it’s unfair. I can’t do anything about it unless I move on or imprison myself, and I don’t want to live like that.”
On whether he’ll marry Camilla
“Marriage isn’t something I’m against. My parents married each other three times – and divorced twice. I know a few older couples who have been married a long time and are happy; I’ve been around healthy marriages. I knew I wanted a family and I found a woman I love and felt was right for me. I thought, ‘That’s the woman I want to make a family with.’ But marriage – it’s not something we feel we need to be complete. It doesn’t mean we won’t do it.
“It doesn’t make my mom that happy that we’re not married. But it doesn’t make her mad either. Of course, I was raised to believe that you don’t have sex until you’re married. So there you are.”
[From Cigar Aficionado, print edition, April 2011]
There’s a lot more in there about how McConaughey got his start in Hollywood. He was discovered by a producer on Dazed and Confused in a bar in Austin, Texas. Then he went out to LA and started auditioning, earning his first leading role in Grisham’s A Time To Kill when he was up for a part of a Klansman and told the director he thought he should be the lead. They let him audition and then Grisham picked him personally for the role. McConaughey described the moment when Grisham called him personally with the news. “After I hung up, I went out and howled at the moon. That was big. I understood what that meant.”
I’ll be a Matthew McConaughey fan until he makes a dick move. Considering that he hasn’t done that in his 15 years of fame and has been nothing but low key, mellow and gracious with the press and even to the paparazzi that hound him, that probably won’t happen.
Above photos are scans from Cigar Aficionado magazine, where there are more. Photos of McConaughey running below are just from the month of March. Credit: Fame Pictures