McConaughey is an Academy Award-winning actor and producer, starring in numerous films and celebrated crime drama True Detective. McConaughey the man is much more than a celebrated screen icon: a cult figure in Austin, Texas since he was infamously arrested for disturbing the peace playing the bongo drums naked in his house. McConaughey is now teaching “Script to Screen” and serves as the Minister of Culture at his alma mater the University of Texas. Greenlights explores key moments from McConaughey’s life including wild stories, lessons learnt, and his philosophy of catching “green lights”.
Raised by parents thrice married and twice divorced, McConaughey developed a strong value system based on discipline and respect. Tough but loving, his parents ran a household where you followed the rules “until you’re man enough to break em”. It was an upbringing that turned McConaughey into a hustler and a success.
McConaughey caught a lot of green lights on his journey to stardom, however it wasn’t always easy or without risk. One such move was his decision to change tack as an actor and re-brand himself from a rom-com guy into a serious dramatic actor. McConaughey spent a year rejecting high-paying offers for romantic comedies before the tap turned off and the offers stopped coming. Two years later, the gamble paid off and the “McConaissance” commenced, allowing McConaughey to re-brand and prove himself as the type of actor who could win an Oscar.
Greenlights is an ideal book for the times, with McConaughey’s approach to writing a sign of things to come. Booking a one-way ticket to the desert, McConaughey took 35 years of diary entries into self-isolation to grapple with the story of his life so far. His humility, down-to-earth nature, and seemingly effortless cool make him a perfect antidote to a world that in his own words “was intercepted by a red-light drama called COVID-19”.