Some things never change. In the December issue of GQ, Man of the Year honoree Matthew McConaughey reveals that he still gets naked and makes music—he's just smarter about how he does it. "Of course I still play the congas naked," the married father of three says. "I just close the windows."
McConaughey is, of course, referring to his October 1999 arrest. At the time, a neighbor called to complain about loud music coming from the actor's home in Austin, Texas. When police arrived on the scene, they found McConaughey dancing in the nude and playing the drums. He was charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
While those were later dropped, the movie star did plead guilty to violating the city's noise ordinance and paid a $50 fine. Still, the actor hasn't been able to shake that image from the public's perception.
In fact, McConaughey says he had "no frequency of his conception" until recently. "Now I get it," he tells the magazine. "Outdoors, shirtless on the beach, does a lot of rom-coms, girlfriend loves him, good-looking. It's like he rolls out of bed and shows up and makes it look easy."
It's not that McConaughey has a problem being seen as a happy-go-lucky guy. Quite the contrary! But the Texas native does hope that his recent works—like Magic Mike, Mud and Dallas Buyer's Club—will prove to people that he's capable of more than scoring the girl or a cheap laugh. "As you get older, you're supposed to get better," the 44-year-old explains. "There should be an ascension."
McConaughey's appeal is polarizing, though it hasn't stopped him from working with top-notch directors, producers and actors. "Matthew is a divisive figure in Hollywood," says his longtime friend and True Detective costar Woody Harrelson. "I have found myself defending him to people who don't really know him, who for some reason feel very antagonistically toward him. He's a good guy, he's great-looking, has a perfect body, his career's through the roof. People resented that, and the way they justified it is, he has never done a movie of substance."
Now that McConaughey is generating early Oscar buzz, Harrelson laughs and tells GQ, "They can't say that anymore."