Trying to Explain Matthew McConaughey

When I hear the name Matthew McConaughey, my first thought is that I will never actually know how to spell it correctly. My thought is more of a train of thoughts which goes something like a word association exercise: eccentric, spontaneous, unique, naked bongo drums — OK, so that last one was three words, but you get the point. Matthew McConaughey is different. Very different. And this was made clear on Wednesday night when Matthew McConaughey was honored at the American Cinematheque Gala which included anecdotes from many of his costars. The stories Kate Hudson, Jennifer Garner, and Jessica Chastain told gave me the standard, "Oh Matthew McConaughey. He's just so crazy" reaction. Then I heard about Reese Witherspoon talking about McConaughey's unusual email signature. Witherspoon said, "Everything he does is on purpose and by design. In fact, sometimes he signs his emails 'on purpose and by design.'"

This got me thinking. Is it possible that the joke is on us all? McConaughey is not your typical Hollywood type. He is not super polished. His quotes can easily by misinterpreted, or even incomprehensible at times. He marches to the beat of his own (bongo) drum. But maybe I have him all wrong. Maybe his moves are not super impulsive like they come off. Maybe all of this craziness is completely calculated behavior. Could it be that even our reactions are all a part of a grand master plan? Let's take a look back at some of McConaughey's most notorious moments and think about how they could be explained.

Why was he Playing the Bongo Drums Naked?

Michael Buckner/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

In 1999, police responded to a noise complaint and found McConaughey naked, playing the bongo drums while another man clapped. An officer found weed (shocking) and the actor went to jail for nine hours before getting released on a $1,000 bond. The state of California has a storied history of drought. McConaughey could have been playing the drums as part of a ritual rain dance to end the severe climate conditions.

What's with Those Award Show Speeches?

Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Watching Hollywood award shows can get a little boring, and a lot of times the same actors win at every show so there aren't a whole lot of surprises to look forward to. However, during the 2014 Oscars, McConaughey gave us some notorious ramblings. The metaphors were unique and there were some awkward pauses. Most of the time I had zero idea of what he was actually trying to say. Maybe he was just tired of the humdrum nature of awards season. He could have just been trying to make the show exciting for his fans who had to sit through watching all of the boring acceptances. Or, more conniving, a calculated move for press attention since he was not the only winner of the night.

Why is He Always Shirtless?

I would like to preface this by saying I am not complaining about the shirtless occurrences. In fact, I very much appreciate them. But I barely recognized him when he suited up for award shows. Why was he never wearing clothes? This definitely pigeonholed him as a surfer dude. (Side note: he was in straight-to-DVD movie called Surfer, Dude . Yes, there is a comma in the title. No, I don't get why.) McConaughey could have been purposely trying to typecast himself. Most actors receive critical accolades because they go outside of their comfort zones and really transform for their greatest roles. Maybe he was trying so hard to appear in this light to make his future work stand out even more and make his "transformation" look even more serious than it actually was.

Why is He in So Many Romantic Comedies?

Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Roles in movies like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, The Wedding Planner, and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past are what brought him into prominence. Why would he take on these roles if he himself admits that they are highly scrutinized by critics, viewers, and even other actors? He could have been trying to change the perception of that type of role. McConaughey said, "a lot of times the male is somewhat emasculated, meaning he has to crawl back and say, 'I’m nothing without you. If you don’t take me back, I’m nothing.'" He is not a dumb, happy-go-lucky guy. He could have been consciously trying to change the impression made by this type of role.

Of course a lot of these justifications are conjecture from my own mind. Maybe Matthew McConaughey does just make these professional and personal decisions on a whim? Still, it's not far fetched to assume that someone with such great success has it because his decisions are "on purpose and by design."

Images: Getty Images (3)