Famous Fans: Matthew McConaughey

Posted Nov 4, 2014

Award-winning actor and producer Matthew McConaughey has been an avid Redskins fan for more than 40 years. This summer, he visited the team’s practice and stopped by ‘Redskins Nation’ to chat about his favorite team.

One of the biggest names in Hollywood, actor and producer Matthew McConaughey has been an avid Redskins fan for more than 40 years. Over the offseason, McConaughey visited practice and stopped by the Redskins Nation set to chat with Larry Michael, the Voice of the Redskins.

Larry Michael: How’d you like being at practice?

Matthew McConaughey: I liked practice. I liked the focus. I liked the way that everyone was moving out there. It seems like they got another fresh start, but obviously even at this early stage, they’re buying into it. A lot of how they move around out there says a lot at this stage. I liked it.

Michael: Why are you a Redskins fan? How did that come to be?

McConaughey: I was born in 1969. In 1973, I’m watching Westerns with my dad, cowboys versus Indians and I’m rooting for the Indians – starts with that. Later that year, I realize my favorite food is hamburgers. Well, you got a linebacker, No. 55, Chris Hanburger, with an ‘n,’ who loved to wrap somebody up, maybe give them an extra yard, but throw them down and then he’d walk around like, ‘I didn’t go down with you.’ It started with that as a 4 year old where you got your favorite food and you’re rooting for the Indians in a western. Then it went into John Riggins, the Fun Bunch, the Hogs, everything Joe Gibbs.

Michael: I know you’re expecting a big year out of (fellow University of Texas alum) Brian Orakpo, even though we know his golf game could use some work.

McConaughey: It should need work. If his golf game gets too good, y’all should be worried. He looks good, and boy what a specimen and a good man, it seems like, as much as I’ve talked to him. I’m glad he’s healthy again. We’ve got Colt McCoy here, (Keenan) Robinson’s here – those are three Longhorns that are here. That’s an added bonus about being here. It’s a pretty good tight family that the University of Texas has with its Longhorns players from then and now.

Michael: What about getting to know another Texas kid, Robert Griffin III?

McConaughey: He just went north of our town a little bit, up there to Waco and he did well, and he’s doing well. What a bright-eyed man that is. That’s the guy you want taking snaps not just physically, but also mentally. You can tell that he’s just on top of it. I hear the only problem with him is getting him to get out of this place and quit working out and quit training.

Michael: Tell us about your just keep livin Foundation?

McConaughey: We started an after-school curriculum in Title 1 schools, which are lower-income schools, to give the kids someplace to go after school to exercise, set goals, learn nutrition on a budget, and to learn how to say thank you for the things they do have in life. We call that gratitude circle. So it’s sort of a mind, body, spirit wellness program. A lot of these kids don’t have someplace safe to go after school or they’re just going home and sitting on the couch after school, so we give them a place to exercise, set goals, and it can be a goal as small as ‘I need to fit in the prom dress, but my sister’s prom dress is one size smaller than me.’ That girl will go lose enough weight to fit into that prom dress. There’ll be another kid who didn’t make the soccer team last year, but gets in good enough shape to make the soccer team. Another that ran a half-marathon, but hadn’t been able to run a full-marathon, comes to our program, maybe he’s running the full marathon next year. Over the six years we’ve been doing it, we got scientific proof that it’s working. The kids that are in our program, the attendants, the attendance in their schools are rising, their grades are rising and their behavior grades are rising.

Michael: What in your background has caused you to be so involved in the community, and how has your celebrity helped you get through to people?

McConaughey: Yes, I do have a platform. Like most successful people, if you get a chance to do something and give back, I think everyone has that instinct to try and do something. There’s a million good things to do. I knew I wanted to do something with kids. This was before I had kids of my own. I knew I wanted to do something with kids. We chose high school students because after doing some research and thinking about my own life, I thought about where’s that last bash and where’s that last four years of school where once you get out and in real life, consequences are going to be tough. So when you’re on the right track, how do we keep you on the right track? You’re on the wrong track, how do we straighten you out? That’s when it’s the last time to do it, in high school. I was fortunate. I had two parents that were there for me. A lot of these young men and women don’t have as healthy a household as, say, I had. I wanted to give back. I wanted to do it with kids and we picked out Title 1 high schools to do it with. Now the platform that I’m on, I do have a platform. I speak now. I’m on a virtual megaphone right now. I have access to get to ears, or I have access to help make some change. Now it’s one of the three things that I have on my proverbial desk on Monday morning: I’m a father, I’m an actor and I got my foundation. Those are the three things in my life that mean the most to me right now.

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