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Alright, alright, alright.

By Southern Living Editors
August 24, 2020
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He might be a leading heartthrob in Hollywood, but Matthew McConaughey checks all the boxes of a laid-back Southern gent: a Texas-born mama’s boy and die-hard Longhorn fan with a signature syrupy drawl, penchant for whiskey, and love for his Lone Star community, which he shows in fun ways like crashing a virtual meeting of 900 Texas teachers and hosting virtual bingo night for a Texas senior home. His charismatic spirit is enough to make anyone want to be his friend. His best quotes on living, loving, being a parent, why he loves the South, and his relationship with his equally charming Southern mother whom he calls K-Mac really convince us why. 

Read on for 25 quotes by Matthew McConaughey that show why he’ll always be one of our favorite Southerners. 

On his mother:

“I do not remember the last time when we partied when she didn't go to bed after me and get up before me.”

“One day, I said, ‘Mom no one forgives themselves quicker than you. Do you ever have any regret, or do you ever at the end of the day say, “I could work on that?”’ She goes, ‘Honey, every single night when I go to bed, I have a long list of those things. But the thing is, when I wake up in the morning, I’ve forgot them all.’”

“I got a mother who, you know, knows that all of my talents came from her, and she needs to be up there, and she didn’t get her chance to be in the Golden Girls. So now is her chance, so come on with it.”

“She was a typical Texan mom. She would stand no nonsense. If I woke in a grumpy mood she’d come up to me and—wham!—hit me on the side of the head.”

“My mom was seventy-seven when we moved [to Austin]. She’s 85 now. I realized that is fourth quarter stuff, so I said, ‘Let’s get down closer to mom.' So now, we see her every weekend instead of twice a year. That was important to the kids, important to Camila and I, and important to my mom."

“Next thing I know I feel a hand on my shoulder pull me back and body-slam me to the ground—and it was my mother.”

On Texas:

“Steinbeck says it's a state of mind...In Texas, there is a certain honor of being a Texan that is a measure of doing something the best that you can.”

“You have your name—McConaughey...You have your nation—because you're American. You have, if you're a believer, because of God. And in Texas, you have a fourth measure. It's because you're a Texan.”

“But there is a real independence in Texas. When we say it's a country unto its own, it is a little different from the other places in the South. We love to say, ‘Oh, we can still secede.' We're not going to secede. But we love to remind people of that.”

“I like to say I live in Austin, Texas, because I can live where I want to."

"Longhorn Nation, what's happening? McConaughey here. How we doing out there gang? Yeah, man, crazy times, huh? We're all in 'em. Let's remember that. Let's also remember that this too shall pass, we're going to be getting through this. Keep that in your minds when you start getting frustrated with how your lifestyle has changed. We are going to get through this, if we help ourselves and we help each other.”

On life:

“My life is a road, man. I need to keep moving.”

"Now first off I want to thank God, because that's who I look up to. He has graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or of any human hand. He has shown me that it is a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates."

“Life’s barely long enough to get good at one thing. So be careful what you get good at.” 

“We dissect failure a lot more than we dissect success.”

“Instead of denying these fears, declare them, say them out loud, admit them, give them the credit they deserve…Find the courage to overcome them.”

“You want to be a writer? Start writing. You want to be a  filmmaker? Start shooting stuff on your phone right now.” 

“Life is not a popularity contest. Take the hill, but first answer the question: What is my hill?”

“Keep your head up. We'll get out of this on the other side because that's just what we're gonna do."

On love: 

“My first date was at 13, with a girl called Amy. We were going to meet at a line-dancing club after football. I then asked her if she wanted to go for a walk on a nature trail. It was a first kiss for both of us. She had braces, my lip was caught in them and it started bleeding.”

“At the corner of my eye this sort of aqua green figure, sort of floating across the frame about 20 feet in front of me, and my eye went up and I remember what came out of my mouth, I didn't say who is that, I said what is that?”

“It was like this is not the kind of woman you call over across the room, McConaughey. Get your a** out of the chair and go get her. Which I did.”

“Three days, three nights later, and I knew then that the next time after that I wanted to go on another date. The next time after that I wanted to go on another date. And I've been wanting to go on date with her for the last nine years.”

“Sometimes loving your kids means giving them just what they want. Other times it means tough love.”

“Loving a child is a lot harder if you really give a damn. 'No' takes a lot more energy. It’s a lot easier to say 'yes.'"

A Southern dude with a groovy attitude? To that we say, "alright, alright, alright."