Matthew McConaughey Opens Up About Reading Childhood Diaries: ‘I Learned a Better Lesson’

by Kayla Zadel

Matthew McConaughey is an award-winning actor, the Minister of Culture at the University of Texas, and now he’s adding author to his name.

In his first-ever book Greenlights, he shares memories from his past, and they aren’t all warm and fuzzy. McConaughey’s able to recall these moments in detail because of these diaries that he’s kept since the age of 18.

Some might call it a memoir, others call it a playbook. In his interview with, McConaughey says, “It’s more of an approach book. I found consistent approaches that I’ve had to life that have given me more green lights in life.”

The 51-year-old went out and engineered some of those green lights himself with the choices he made. However, others were more-fate driven, with good fortune lighting the way down the green path.

Matthew McConaughey Gets the Green Light

The book is a compilation of his diaries that he’s kept since childhood. These manuscripts depict his parents, who were divorced and married three times. Additionally, Greenlights shares how his parents’ relationship affected his life, but then there are pages filled with memories from his adventurous childhood to navigating his teenage years.

The Texas-native jokes about how in his younger years he was arrogant – a sort of know-it-all. McConaughey admits that he was even worried about being embarrassed when he went back to read his diaries.

“But most of the times that I looked at it, that I thought I would be embarrassed about, I actually laughed at,” he says. McConaughey thought he knew it all back then, but he knows now that those thoughts and actions paved the way for where he is today.

“And without that arrogance, I don’t know if I would have had the confidence to put myself in some of those positions where I learned a better lesson,” McConaughey confesses.

McConaughey took a break from acting so he could be considered for different roles other than romantic-comedies. He wanted to play roles that “scared” him, and those that were thought-provoking. That’s when he was rebranded and accepted the role in “Dallas Buyers Club.” It was this movie that checked off a box on his list of goals. McConaughey finally won Best Actor.

The Academy Award winner is married to Camila Alves, and the couple has three boys together, Levi, Vida and Livingston.

Greenlights is available for purchase Nov. 20.