Matthew McConaughey isn't running for Texas governor: What we know about his interest in politics
Alright, alright, alright. Looks like Matthew McConaughey is not seeking to run for Governor of Texas. At least not "at this moment."
Unlike fellow celebrity turned politician Caitlyn Jenner who made a run for governor of California, the "Dallas Buyers Club" actor isn't following in those footsteps in his home state.
On Sunday, McConaughey released a three-minute video on Twitter and Instagram saying he had seriously considered a run for political office, and Texas governor but came out against it. "As a simple kid born in the little town of Uvalde, Texas, it never occurred to me that I would one day be considered for political leadership," McConaughey said in the video. "It's a humbling and inspiring path to ponder. It is also a path I'm choosing not to take at this moment."
Instead, the Texas native shared that he will focus his energy and resources on other endeavors.
"I’m going to continue to work and invest the bounty I have by supporting entrepreneurs, businesses and foundations that I believe are creating pathways for people to succeed in life," he added. "Organizations that have a mission to serve and build trust while also generating prosperity. That’s the American dream."
Matthew McConaughey says he's not running for Texas governor: 'Our politics need new purpose'
Here's everything we know about McConaughey's interest in politics.
What has McConaughey said about running for office?
In a March interview with the Austin American-Statesman, part of the USA TODAY network, McConaughey said he would "be a fool not to consider" the position.
"I am considering, as I said I’d be a fool not to, to consider the honor to go into the position of politics, as the governor of Texas," McConaughey said. "But I honestly have to ask myself, 'How can I be most useful?' And maybe that’s as a free agent."
At the time, McConaughey was clear that he wouldn't be running for office.
"I would say, as far as running, I’m not until I am. So my decision hasn’t changed because I’m still not."
The actor said he is "interested in building something that can last" during an interview on "The Carlos Watson Show" in May, but he added he doesn't know if politics would satisfy his interest.
"I'm not interested in going and putting a bunch of Band-Aids on that are going to be ripped off as soon as I'm out (of office)," McConaughey said. "How many things do actual leaders and politicians get done in their four (years) that now become realized later on after they're in office? They never get the credit for those."
More: Matthew McConaughey for Texas governor? The 'aggressively centric' actor is considering it
However, McConaughey admitted he won't likely completely pivot to politics during an appearance in a September episode of the "Set it Straight: Myths and Legends" podcast.
"I have to remain an artist. I’ve earned my right to enjoy that Saturday night part of life, that music part of life," he said. "It has to have music to it. I’m very good at being diligent, Monday morning, practical, structure, I’m all of that but I’ve got to continue to be an artist."
Is McConaughey a Republican or a Democrat?
He says he is neither. McConaughey describes his party affiliation as "aggressively centric."
"Look, I’m a 'Meet You in the Middle' man. When I say 'aggressively centric,' that sometimes gets parceled over there with 'Oh, that’s a shade of grey, a compromise,' " he told the Statesman.
In the past, McConaughey has spoken out against political extremes.
"You need liberals. What I don’t think we need is the illiberals, and what I don’t think that some liberals see is that they’re often being cannibalized by the illiberals," he said on "Good Morning Britain" in December.
“Now, you know, there are extremes on both sides that I think are unfair — that I don’t think are the right place to be," he continued. "The extreme left and the extreme right completely illegitimize the other side … or they exaggerate that side’s stance into an irrational state that makes no sense."
More: Matthew McConaughey talks political extremes: 'What I don’t think we need is the illiberals'
Would people have voted for McConaughey?
According to a poll taken from registered voters in Texas, maybe so.
A gubernatorial poll published July 4 by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler showed the Oscar-winning actor trailing behind Abbott by just 1% when it came to support from Texas constituents.
In a hypothetical contest, Abbott garnered 39% support from Texans, while McConaughey trailed right behind him with 38% of support. The rest of the poll participants said they would rather vote for someone else.
McConaughey shared a quirky video message on the same day the poll was published, captioned "Happy 245th birthday America – let’s rock" to celebrate July 4.
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“We're basically going through puberty in comparison to other countries' timelines, and we're going to go through growing pains," McConaughey said. "This is not an excuse, to say, this is just a reality. And this is good because we’ve got to keep learning, we got to keep maturing, we got to keep striving, we got to keep climbing, we got to keep building."
What is McConaughey's connection to Texas?
McConaughey is a born and bred Texan. He was born in Uvalde, Texas, which is a little more 100 miles outside of Austin, where he attended college at the University of Texas. He didn't just attend: In 2018, he became the "Minister of Culture" for the university's basketball team.
“It’s time to raise the bar. It’s time to excel, on the court and in the stands. It’s time for an authentic home court advantage for our Longhorn basketball teams," McConaughey said in a news release.
In addition to Longhorn basketball, he is also the "Minister of Culture" for Austin's Football Club. A position he takes "at the ground level."
"(Soccer) is just a great uniter," he said. "Austin is a diverse city that already is a soccer town. We're relentlessly optimistic. They've never had a team to root for. It's the world's game."
More: Texas alum Matthew McConaughey to be 'Minister of Culture' for Longhorns' basketball arena
What else is McConaughey up to?
He has taken an interest in public service. After Texas was hit by a severe winter storm in February, the "Interstellar" actor and his wife Camila teamed up with a Texas relief fund for a virtual benefit concert "We're Texas" to help Texans recover.
The two-hour event included testimonies and musical performances from Texans and Texas transplants alike. The event raised more than $132,000 by the end of the night from viewer donations and even more from sponsors and special guests.
McConaughey looked presidential when he announced the virtual benefit in an Instagram post while sitting in front of an American flag saying, "I'm going to be making daily posts letting people know how to keep safe during this time, find resources, help volunteer and support others."
Does McConaughey have any upcoming movies?
The actor is returning as Buster Moon in the animated sequel "Sing 2," arriving Dec. 22. McConaughey voices the gung-ho koala, who hosts an "American Idol" type show where animated animals show off their best singing voices.
McConaughey may also be tapped to star as lawyer Jake Brigance (again) in a film adaptation to the "sort of" sequel to the 1996 adaptation of John Grisham's "A Time to Kill." According to reports from Variety and Deadline in March, McConaughey is slated for the HBO adaptation of the book.
In the meantime, fans can revisit some of the actor's best movies: "Dazed and Confused" (Amazon Prime), "Dallas Buyers Club" (Hulu and Amazon Prime), "The Wolf of Wall Street" (Amazon Prime), "Interstellar" (Hulu) and "Kubo and the Two Strings" (Amazon Prime and Apple TV).
McConaughey has also written a book
McConaughey in October released his book "Greenlights," an unconventional and candid memoir filled with raucous stories and hard-won wisdom about living life to its fullest.
"I did a huge amount of laughing with myself when writing, I did a huge amount of crying – most of my tears came from being able to go back and feel the love that my family had that my mom and dad had for each other, that they had for us," he said.
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Contributing: Barbara VanDenburgh, Morgan Hines, Matthew Odam and Bryan Alexander
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Matthew McConaughey announces he will not run for Texas governor