A frequent line of conversation I have with my friends involves famous people and superlatives. Being a huge movie and beer fan, and having many movie and beer-loving friends, the conversation has evolved from "Who's your favorite actor?" and "Which actor would you most like to meet?" to the more well-rounded question of "Which actor would you most like to have a beer with?" I decided to use this question as the first topic of my "Actor I'd..." article series because it always generates so much interesting conversation. I'm hoping some of you WoKJ users will pitch in their own two cents as stand-alone articles or run with the "Actor I'd..." series and create your own topics (it was a toss-up between which topic I'd tackle first, this one or "Actor I'd...Most Like to Punch in the Face").
Now whenever my friends and I discussed who we'd most want to have a beer with it has always been within the scope of living actors (for several reasons). You may want to meet a long-dead actor to hear their stories on the birth of cinema, or you may want to meet an established, wizened actor to hear their accumulated pool of industry knowledge and unique life history, but in both cases the meeting is more academic, rooted in a quest for information rather than in a desire to make a genuine connection with another person. Conversely you may have a lot of living actors that you admire for their talent, but who you might not want to meet in real life due to their off-camera douchebaggery and over-inflated egos. There may be actors who sort of fit the bill, but whose personal beliefs clash so much with your own that it would impede or completely derail a relaxed, beer-drinking session (that rules you out, idiot Scientologists). In short it all boils down to the cool factor, who you think is the coolest, most personable actor that would actually make for good company. An actor that wouldn't be turned off by hanging out with an average joe yet one who still has enough eccentricities to keep you engaged and interested.
The actor you'd most like to have a beer with should be an actor you think you could possibly have four, five, or ten beers with. An actor who may just blow your mind by taking you on a whirlwind, day-long adventure a la Almost Famous or that kickass Entourage episode ("One Day in the Valley," Season 3, Episode 2). After years of careful consideration and numerous re-picks I have finally decided on the actor I'd most like to have a beer with...
McConaughey embodies all the qualities of an actor I'd not only like to meet, but an actor I'd also like to get sloppy drunk with should the opportunity arise. He's a free thinker who, by all appearances, doesn't really care what other people or mainstream media thinks of him. Sure he's a handsome man who has a certain devil-may-care stoner charm about him, but he's also very intelligent and, despite all of his fame, a very down-to-earth guy who's extremely well spoken and polite in every interview I've ever watched. His name isn't always plastered over the news or in the tabloids for dumb shit or scandals, and the only run-in with the cops he's had that I know of came from a resisting arrest charge in October of '99 at his Austin, Texas home...after he was slapped with disturbing the peace and possession of marijuana...while playing the bongo drums too loud in the wee hours of the morning...in the nude. Needless to say this news only made me want to have a beer with him even more (that's how you make a headline LiLo).
McConaughey's interests also make him...well, damned interesting. He travels all over the world, immerses himself in different cultures and actually respects and appreciates others' diverse belief systems. He loves the outdoors, surfs and runs triathlons. He rescued pets in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and actually prevented two asshole kids in Sherman Oaks, California from lighting a cat on fire. He's got good taste in music and follows the Washington Redskins (coincidentally the only other NFL team I follow outside of the Steelers). His non-profit foundation, the j.k. livin foundation, aims to help "teenage kids lead active lives and make healthy choices to become great men and women." He's also the only person I can think of who can make tight shirts, pink jeans, and pencil mustaches look absolutely badass.
For these reasons, and many more I can't articulate, Matthew McConaughey is my number one choice for the Actor I'd Most Like to Have a Beer With award. He may have credits in some blah movies, but he is without a doubt a damn fine actor who has also played some great screen roles. Matthew should you ever be in the Northeast Corridor you can come claim your prize of beer on my tab, but since that probably won't happen I'll offer you a more realistically deliverable prize in the form of a donation to the j.k. livin foundation.
If you've never checked out Matthew McConaughey's website definitely do so, it's very well made and gives you two options on how to access it (you can enter easy or real easy). I'll leave you all with some memorable character shots:
The Many Faces of Matthew McConaughey