Matthew McConaughey

The last year has been pretty good to you: the Golden Globe and an Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club, stealing scenes in The Wolf of Wall Street, and Emmy nomination for True Detective, 2014’s biggest TV show, and… MAXIM Icon.
You know, it looks like a different magazine. It looks like the paper stock is thicker, and the whole thing seems more substantial. It looks more current, not all, “Hey, let’s give you hot ass, boners, and beer,” but it still has a good, sexy edge to it.

Thanks, but let’s be honest, those other honours are almost as big a deal. So what happened? Five years ago, it seemed like you were a shirtless Malibu hunk playing bongos. Now you’re married with kids and winning every award short of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Well, there wasn’t any “road to Galilee” moment, but the stars have to align, and a lot of things have been aligning for me wonderfully. Does my wife, Camila [Alves], coming into my life have something to do with it? Absolutely. Does becoming a father have something to do with it? Absolutely. Just being in my 40s, it’s a different chapter. You customise in your 40s. So does that have something to do with it? Absolutely. Does luck have something to do with it? Absolutely.

Did your professional choices play their part, too?
Sure. I remember saying to myself, ‘I want to grow and have more life experiences through my work. I want to come out the other side of an experience that scares the shit out of me, and I don’t know how different I’ll be on the other side, but let’s go.’ That’s where a lot of my choices have come from. I huddled up with my agent and my wife, and said, “I’m going to start saying no to the things I’ve been doing, and the work’s going to dry up.” I talked to my financial adviser, and he said, “Your money’s good; you can pay the rent; you’re going to be able to live the same lifestyle.” So I was like, “Let’s do it!” I put the memo out to my agent, and that was that. It took about a year for the industry to stop sending me any more of the things I’d been doing, and then there was just nothing. Bone dry. Nothing.

For the full feature grab the December 2014 issue of MAXIM, in stores from November 20 to December 18.

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