Matthew McConaughey is Best Friends With a Surprising Food Network Star

At first glance, actor Matthew McConaughey and celebrity chef Guy Fieri, best known for the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, wouldn’t appear to have much in common. One is a laid back but charismatic actor, the other is a brash and enthused downscale food aficionado. 

Turns out the two are fast friends, however — so much so that last year, McConaughey was the featured speaker at Fieri’s ceremony when he got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

How did McConaughey and Fieri become friends?

Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey | Gary Miller/Getty Images

A reporter at SF Gate in San Francisco was just as surprised as anyone when she learned that McConaughey and Fieri knew each other as well as they did. Turns out that the actor is a fan of diners, drive-ins and dives – both uppercase and lowercase. McConaughey explained it all at the Hollywood ceremony.

“Fifteen or so years ago I was living in an Airstream, traveling across America … I lived on the road and I came across this show ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Drives,’ and it quickly became my favorite show,” he said. “One day on the road I get the number of the host, Guy Fieri, and I call him up and I say, ‘Listen, hey man, it’s Matthew McConaughey.'”

From that moment on, it was a match made in high-calorie heaven. Up until that time, McConaughey had been subsisting on Subway, which, despite the chain’s pretensions to healthy food, was starting to wear out its welcome for the actor, who told Fieri, “I  gotta say thank you, because the Subway sandwiches, although I like them, they were getting a bit old.”

Is another McConaissance due? 

If McConaughey and Fieri’s friendship kicked off about 15 years ago, that would put the time of their meeting around 2004. That was shortly after McConaughey and Kate Hudson had scored a big romcom hit in How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, which seemed like the crest of his first wave of fame in the late 1990s with appearances in A Time to Kill, Amistad and Contact

Roughly ten years after that, however, McConaughey seemed to hit a wall, quality-wise, with forgettable fluff like Two for the Money and Failure to Launch. When he and Hudson reunited for the 2008 movie Fool’s Gold, lightning did not strike twice. 

When the decade turned, however, fortunes began to turn for McConaughey, in an era that came to be known as the McConaissance, with strong performances in movies like Bernie, Mud, Magic Mike and The Wolf of Wall Street. This culminated in his Oscar win for the Dallas Buyer’s Club in 2014. 

Not long after that, however, the McConaissance seemed to tail off. Few people seem to remember movies like Free State of Jones, The Dark Tower and Serenity – or if they do remember them, they are remembered for the wrong reasons.

Still, no matter what McConaughey’s fortunes or misfortunes are at the box office, he still puts out an aura of good cheer, probably helped by his friendship with Fieri. 

What are some other offbeat celebrity pairs? 

If McConaughey and Fieri seem like a very odd couple, there are other surprising celebrity relationships, according to Insider. Emma Stone and Jennifer Lawrence share a sort of offhand vivaciousness, with Stone saying of her pal, “We both really do love each other and care about each other as people, beyond being actors I support her completely when it comes to work and I feel the same from her, but I know we’d be friends even if we didn’t do the same job.”

Actors Nina Dobrev and Julianne Hough got together after both went through breakups, but Dobrev insists their friendship isn’t based on that, saying “People aren’t defined by their relationships. The whole point is being true to yourself and not losing yourself in relationships, whether romances or friendships.” 

In other words, what does it matter if friendship is made in a diner, a drive-in or a dive?