“I’m still ALIVE , FIGHTING!”: How did Matthew McConaughey defend the title of Sexiest Man of 2005?-HO

The actor also recalled how his mom reacted

Matthew McConaughey humorously asserts that his status as Sexiest Man Alive has never expired, despite being named the title back in 2005. Featured on the cover of PEOPLE’s 50th anniversary special issue alongside ten other stars, the Oscar winner reflects on the enduring nature of the designation.

“People tell me, ‘You’re no longer the Sexiest Man Alive, McConaughey,’ for the last 19 years, every time someone else has been crowned. And I say, ‘Well, I’m still alive. Come on!’ ” he jokes.

McConaughey, aged 54, shares three children with his wife Camila. He playfully suggests that once you’ve been named Sexiest Man Alive and you’re still alive, the title still holds true. His lighthearted perspective adds a touch of humor to the notion of maintaining a timeless appeal.

Matthew McConaughey sexiest man alive cover 2005 with no seconds November 28, 2005 issue

Matthew McConaughey’s 2005 PEOPLE cover.

Looking back on that photoshoot, McConaughey stands by his choice to go with denim.

Matthew McConaughey reminisces about the time he was named Sexiest Man Alive in 2005, noting that denim was a common choice for photoshoots during that period. He emphasizes the timeless appeal of denim, describing it as “all-American” and a go-to option that still works for him today.

He recalls his family’s reaction to him receiving the title, particularly his mother Kay, who is now 92 years old. McConaughey shares that his family teased him about it, but his mom’s response remained consistent with her usual demeanor.

“She said what she’s always said,” McConaughey explains. “Any time I had any notoriety for anything, whether it was a role, whether it was getting the cover of PEOPLE Magazine, Sexiest Man Alive, my mom’s reaction has always been the same: ‘Yep, I see where you got it from.’ ” This humorous anecdote highlights the unwavering support and grounded perspective provided by his mother throughout his career.

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Matthew McConaughey during an interview on THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON

Matthew McConaughey on Jan. 11, 2024.TODD OWYOUNG/NBC VIA GETTY IMAGES

Also in this week’s issue, McConaughey, who gives back through his Greenlights Grant Initiative, shared whether he’d give any advice to his younger self.

“Oh, I wouldn’t tell him. I’d let him figure it out the same way I did,” he says. “Take feeder roads off the highway. Get confused, get frustrated, feel lost, and overcome it.”


Matthew McConaughey Looks Back at His 30-Year Hollywood Ride — and Why Being a Dad Is His Greatest Gig

The Oscar winner, devoted dad and Sexiest Man Alive alum just keeps livin’ —and thriving — 30 years after taking Hollywood by storm

In August 1996, Matthew McConaughey was spotlighted as a rising talent and newly crowned “hot celebrity,” complete with a reader tutorial on how to pronounce “Ma-CON-a-hay.” Fast forward to the present day, and the Oscar winner’s name effortlessly rolls off the tongue, solidifying his status as one of Hollywood’s most influential stars. Beyond his acting prowess, McConaughey’s impact as a humanitarian and best-selling author has further cemented his place in the industry.

“I’ve had an incredible amount of goodwill in my 30-something years in this industry,” reflects McConaughey, now 54. He co-founded the just keep livin Foundation with his wife Camila, aged 41, in 2008. The nonprofit has since made a significant difference in the lives of thousands of underserved students.

However, amidst his various accomplishments, McConaughey’s greatest role remains being a father to their three children: Levi, aged 15, Vida, aged 14, and Livingston, aged 11. In an interview for the 50th anniversary special issue, McConaughey emphasizes the profound importance of fatherhood, stating, “I can’t think of anything more important.” This sentiment underscores his deep commitment to family and the immense joy he finds in his role as a parent.

You’ve garnered a lot of support througho

Would you share that wisdom with your younger self?
Oh, I wouldn’t tell him. I’d let him figure it out the same way I did. Take feeder roads off the highway. Get confused, get frustrated, feel lost, and overcome it

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How meaningful is it to give back with things like Greenlights Grant Initiative, which helps schools access federal funding?
I’m in a position to be able to give some time, some money, some effort to gather some people together that have a similar want and are trying to stop some leaks. But hopefully, it is prevent before cure… It’s meaningful when I hear from the just keep livin students, who go, “Matthew, Camila, thank you. And here’s why. Here’s where I was. Here’s where I am. I wouldn’t be where I am if you didn’t help me.” I hear that tangible stuff [and] it shakes me like reverb.

ut your career. Like anyone, I’ve experienced my fair share of highs and lows. My star power has seen its peaks and valleys—I’ve won Oscars, and I’ve also had moments like getting arrested while playing the bongos naked. Overall, I believe there’s been an underlying goodwill towards me, but that didn’t exempt me from navigating my own journey in the industry.

There are countless lessons you learn about Hollywood ten years into the game that you wish you knew in year two. It’s all part of an initiation process. You can receive advice and pointers, but ultimately, you have to sift through the noise and discern what’s valuable and what’s not. It’s about cutting through the BS and separating the wheat from the chaff along the way.

It’s crazy to think how when you were new to Hollywood, people didn’t even know how to pronounce your name.
I remember I said to a voice coach Tim Monich, “Man, I’m going to hear McGonaghey and McGonaghay…” and Tim goes, “Real easy. This is what you tell someone who mispronounces your name: It’s McConaughey, rhymes with What would Madonna say?’’ and 100%, when I’ve said that, people always said “McConaughey” after that.

People 50th Anniversary MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY Photographed 12/6/23 at Jennifer Hudson's studio in Burbank, CA.

Matthew McConaughey for PEOPLE’s 50th Anniversary Issue.ART STREIBER

It’s been 30 years since you first uttered the iconic phrase “Alright, alright, alright” as David Wooderson in the 1993 cult classic, Dazed and Confused. Do you ever get tired of hearing that line?
I had no idea that that line would precede me for the rest of my life and people ask me all the time, “Are you tired of that preceding you?” And I’m like, “Hell, no!” That [came] out of my mouth in a scene that I was never supposed to be in, that was never written.

I had gone to the set to do a makeup and wardrobe test for Richard Linklater, the director, to approve [and] he asked me, “Hey, do you think Wooderson might be interested in the redheaded intellectual girl in school?” And I went, “Yeah, Wooderson likes all types of chicks, right?” And he’s like, “Well, what if you hop in the car here and pull up and try and pick her up?” I was like, “All right.” I started to go, “Well, who’s my man? Who’s Wooderson?” I said, “Wooderson loves his car” and I’m like, “Well, I’m in my car. There’s one.” I said, “Wooderson loves rock and roll”… Well, I got Ted Nugent in the 8-track. There’s two. I said, “Wooderson loves to get high” and I’m like, “Well, Slater’s riding shotgun. He’s always got a doobie rolled up.” I said, “And Wooderson likes picking up chicks”… Then all of a sudden, I heard, “Action!” I looked up, and [actress] Marissa Ribisi, the redheaded intellectual, was over there. As I put it in drive, I thought to myself, “I got three out of four and I’m going to get the fourth. Alright, alright, alright”… That was three affirmations for the thing that my character had as he was going to get his fourth. It was a kick-starter.

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Every time I hear it, I’m like, “That was the first three words you said ever on film 30-something years ago.” I take it as a compliment.

You’ve made rom-coms, dramas and thrillers over the course of your incredible career. Did you lend your voice to Sing and Sing 2 to change things up and for your kids to enjoy?
Yeah, it was fun…. And as they got older, there’s nothing I made that they could see. As you become a parent, you end up watching mostly what your kids are watching. And so I was like, “Man, I’ve never been a part of an animated film and I like doing voice work” and so I went and did that. I remember sitting in the premiere of [Sing] and they’re listening and going, “Hey, that sounds like… ” They had that moment where they look at the screen, audio, look at me sitting next to them, do the math and go, “That’s you!” That was really cool to them. And that was something I did for them and the kid in all of us.

Having children, I know, has made me a better artist and a better actor. Kids see things for the first time all the time. Their questions are innocent. I’ve become a better storyteller because I have kids.


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