Matthew McConaughey revealed a private side of his life during his acceptance speech for Best Actor at the 2014 Academy Awards, fervently thanking God for his achievements.
After thanking the Academy, the other nominees, and his fellow cast and crew, the lead of "Dallas Buyers Club" said, to scattered applause:
First off, I want to thank God, because that’s who I look up to. He has graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or of any other human hand. He has shown me that … it’s a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates. In the words of the late Charlie Laughton who said, "When you’ve got God you’ve got a friend — and that friend is you."
Raised in a Methodist tradition, McConaughey's mother Kay chose a Biblical name for him and told him to stick to it. In a 2001 interview with the New Zealand Herald, he told a story about his kindergarten days:
A kid came up and went "Matt, let's go play" and I turned around and it was my [school teacher] mum pulling me. She said: "Your name is Matthew, I named you after the Bible. It is not Matt, do not ever answer to Matt in your life." It was like, "Yes ma'am," so that's one of the things when people go "Matt," I say "Matthew, please."
He married his longtime partner Camila Alves in a Catholic ceremony in 2012. McConaughey said of the wedding, "We chose verses from the Bible that moved us and speak to who we are as a couple."
Reactions to his speech were mixed, as some applauded his public show of faith while others mocked it.