Is Matthew McConaughey Considering a Career in Politics?

Matthew McConaughey, the Oscar-winning actor who has starred in a litany of critically acclaimed projects, such as Interstellar, True Detective, and Dallas Buyers Club, made headlines recently about a possible run for governor of Texas. Is McConaughey really considering a career in politics?

Would movie star Matthew McConaughey run for governor of Texas?

Matthew McConaughey
Honoree Matthew McConaughey speaks on stage during the Texas Medal Of Arts Awards in Feb. 2019 | Gary Miller/Getty Images

Recently, McConaughey joined the Hugh Hewitt radio show to talk about his New York Times best-selling memoir Greenlights. But naturally, given the wonky statue of current affairs in the U.S., the conversation also turned to politics.

“… you’re kind of center-right in the view of people,” Hewitt told McConaughey in the interview. “You could be governor of Texas. You ever gonna run for anything?”

“I don’t know,” the Dallas Buyers Club star replied. “I mean, that wouldn’t be up to — it would be up to the people more than it would me.” This initial response seems to open the door to a possibility of a career in politics — but McConaughey isn’t exactly jumping at the opportunity.

“Look, politics seems to be a broken business to me right now,” he continued. “And when politics redefines its purpose, I could be a hell of a lot more interested.”

Hewitt also wondered, if McConaughey were the “brand ambassador” for President-elect Biden, what would his advice for the leader be? What could he “recommend that both Democrats and Republicans could get behind?” McConaughey had a long and thoughtful answer to Hewitt’s question:

I would get behind personal values to rebind our social contracts with each other as Americans, as people again. No matter side of the aisle you’re on … we have broken those social contracts. We don’t trust each other and that leads to us to not trusting ourselves, which, if that becomes epidemic, then we got anarchy.

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Overall, the Interstellar actor wants to focus on how the personal can affect the political.

“I’m all for the individual … the individual needs to look in the mirror and say, ‘how can I be a little bit better today?'” he told Hewitt. McConaughey wants Americans to ponder how things that can benefit them personally can also be good for their communities.

Still — that’s not a political platform, by any means.

“We gotta stabilize, this country’s gotta stabilize first, before we start to say, ‘OK, here’s how we’re marching out of this together forward,'” the movie star explained.

Hewitt brought up other actors-turned-politicians: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, and Clint Eastwood. Was McConaughey ever inspired by their political ambitions?

“I saw the power of fame,” the actor acknowledged. However, he wasn’t necessarily pro or anti. McConaughey simply marveled at those from “entertainment zeitgeist that are getting into politics.”

The actor obviously understands the potentiality; he acknowledged Trump’s presidential win had a lot to do with the influence of “money and fame” in this country. But he’s still not up for it, himself.

“I still question how much you can really get done in politics, and I don’t know if politics is my avenue to get what maybe I’m best-equipped to get done,” McConaughey confirmed in the radio interview.

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Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey after the Texas Longhorns defeated the Michigan Wolverines in the 91st Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2005 in Pasadena, California | Donald Miralle/Getty Images

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In a slightly more recent interview on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, the host followed up on the question of a McCounaghey gubernatorial campaign. Colbert joked that McConaughey only had 2 options: “yes or hell yes.” However, the actor shut it down fairly quickly.

“I have no plans to do that right now,” he said. Still, the late-night comedian wasn’t buying it.

“That’s such a political answer!” Colbert fired back, quipping that the Dazed and Confused would only have to confer with his family and “spiritual leader” to make the decision.

“Look, right now, no,” McConaughey confirmed. “I don’t get politics. Politics seems to be a broken business, politics needs to redefine its purpose.” The actor is open — and more than willing — to making a difference. But running for office is not in the cards for him — currently.

“… as I move forward in life, yes, am I gonna consider leadership roles where I can be most useful,” he shared. “I’d love to. I’m doing that regardless. … That’s where I sit right now.”

Matthew McConaughey wants a leadership role he can be ‘most useful in’

Where did all those headlines about him running for governor stem from, Colbert wondered?

“I’ve been asked that question … quite a bit lately,” McConaughey explained. “And I’ve always kind of given the same answer but evidently one of them came out as ‘I would consider it,’ since I didn’t say absolutely ‘no.'”

“OK, so: ‘I would consider it,’ — Matthew McConaughey. That stands?” Colbert joked back. Once again, McConaughey deferred.

“Whatever leadership role I can be most useful in,” the actor repeated. “And I don’t know that that’s politics. Right now, I don’t see it as politics.”

However — it’s hard not to notice that McConaughey keeps repeating “right now” — meaning that perhaps, he’s keeping the option open for the future.