Matthew McConaughey’s autobiography Greenlights is due to be released Oct. 20, 2020, by Crown Publishing. I doubt I’ll be receiving a copy to review in this backwater book blog. But the Sunday (Oct. 18, 2020) New York Times has published an enticing spread in its Culture section focusing on McConaughey and his new book. Greenlights promises to be interesting and informative reading and perhaps inspiring, as well.
The first (and almost only) time I’ve met Matthew McConaughey was a few years ago in Austin. I was in a buffet line at a school event, loading up my free plate of food. McConaughey was behind me. He looked very skinny and in dire need of sustanance. I kept encouraging him to put more food on his tray. He had, at best, a barely visible lettuce-and-tomato salad and nothing else. He just grinned and said politely, “No thank you. I’m good.” When I went back for seconds, I caught his eye and pointed again insistently toward the buffet line. He grinned again and again shook his head no. “I’m good,” he assured me. I already knew that, of course. I’d seen him in several movies and enjoyed his performances.
At that same school event, while McConaughey and his young son were playing football together outside, I had entertaining conversations with the Austin actor’s wife and his mother. We talked about many things, including East Texas, South America, and McConaughey’s high school days. Neither his mother nor his wife expressed any concerns about how skinny I thought McConaughey looked.
What I didn’t know then (and they were keeping secret from me) was that he was getting in shape to be the emaciated and clever AIDS patient Ron Woodroof in the movie “Dallas Buyers Club,” for which he would win a 2014 Oscar for “Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role.”
I’m glad now that I didn’t attempt any force-feeding interventions, beyond saying “Well, at least have few more tomatoes.”
You can get “Greenlights” by Matthew McConaughey here.
— Si Dunn