Long before Matthew McConaughey was crowned “Sexiest Man Alive,” he received an accolade for his appearance. In high school as a senior, the actor was not so surprisingly voted “Most Handsome.” It was Jimmy Fallon who dug up the high school yearbook from Uvalde and announced it to the public.
This was just after his Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Drama in “Dallas Buyers Club.” He suffered terrible acne in high school but still managed to win the title. He has also said he was dating the most beautiful girl at his high school. Now that’s just darn impressive.
He’s Related to a Civil War Soldier
Matthew McConaughey is a true man of the South. He is a Lone Star native and speaks with a slight drawl that most people find charming. His southern roots date back centuries to a Civil War brigadier. He is General Dandridge McRae who is related on his father’s side.
The general was born in Alabama and lived in Baldwin County. His heritage is broad with parts of Irish, English, Scottish, German, Swedish, and Welsh. The McConaughey last name is from the Scottish side. And it seems like Matthew is very proud of his roots, no matter how far back they go.
He Was Little Mr. Texas
It was clear from very early on that Matthew McConaughey was destined for greatness and more specifically, awards. Matthew’s mom enlisted him for the Little Mr. Texas contest in Bandera when he was just 7 years old. He did well and walked away with a trophy.
His mom displayed a photo of him with his trophy on the kitchen wall and praised him every single day at breakfast saying, “Look at you, winner, Little Mr. Texas.” As an adult, he examined the trophy. It read, “Runner Up.” But his mom was resolute. She said the winning boy cheated and that he won because his wealthy family bought him a fancy suit.
His Parents Were Disdainful
McConaughey thinks we should always “play like an underdog.” What he means, is that when going after something we want, we should give everything we have. If we put a ceiling on how successful we expect to be, we are restricting ourselves.
He says a roof, or a limit, is a man-made thing, so it is best to play with the underdog attitude in mind. He was also raised like an underdog — he did not get grounded by his parents, but he got a whooping. When he threatened to run away, his parents simply packed his bags for him.
He Lost His Mind in Rural Australia
At age 18, Matthew went on a student exchange trip. It was 1988 and it would be a life-changing experience. It was so significant he says he would not be the same person without having done it, and he would not have won his Academy Award without it. The time was traumatic; he said he lost his mind there.
He was lonely, working six jobs, and nothing was going his way. He endured the year's stay as if “treading water” to the finish line. That is how he describes it in his memoir. We've got more about that book to come!