Matthew McConaughey’s Oscars Speech: Everything to Know

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Hubert Boesl/picture alliance via Getty Images)

With the 94th Academy Awards (Oscars) just days away, we are looking back at Matthew McConaughey’s speech at the 86th annual show. 

In 2014, Matthew McConaughey was nominated for the Oscar’s Best Actor award. He was nominated based on his performance in the 2013 biographical drama Dallas Buyers Club. McConaughey played the main character, Ron Woodroof, a rodeo cowboy who eventually is diagnosed with AIDS in the mid-1980s. The film follows Woodroof as he smuggles illegal pharmaceutical drugs into the U.S. to help slow the disease in him and other HIV/AIDS patients he meets.

Matthew McConaughey Dubbed ‘Best Actor’ at the 86th Annual Academy Awards

  • Which Film: Dallas Buyers Club
  • What Was the Film About: The biographical drama was the story about Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey), who was an AIDS patient diagnosed in the 1980s. He smuggled unapproved pharmaceutical drugs into Texas to treat his symptoms. He eventually distributed the medication to others with AIDS. 
  • Best Quote of the Film: “Sometimes, I feel I’m fighting for a life that I just ain’t got the time to live. I want it all to mean something.”
  • Matthew McConaughey’s Co-Stars: Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner, Dallas Roberts, Steve Zahn, and Craig Borten
  • Director of Dallas Buyers Club: Jean-Marc Vallée
  • Other Oscar Nominations: Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Screen Play, Best Makeup and Styling, Best Picture, and  Best Film Editing.

Who Did Matthew McConaughey Thank During His Oscar Speech?

During his speech at the 86th annual Oscars, Matthew McConaughey reflected on those who helped him achieve the Best Actor award. This includes Dallas Buyers Club director Jean-Marc Vallee as well as co-stars Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner. 

“There’s a few things – about three things, to my count, that I need each day,” Matthew McConaughey declares during his Oscar speech. “One of them is something to look up to; another is something to look forward to; and another is someone to chase.”

Matthew McConaughey goes on to thank God because that is who he looks up to. “He’s graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or any other human hand. He has shown me that it’s a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates.”

Along with God, Matthew McConaughey declares that his family is who he looks forward to. “To my father, who I know he’s up there right now with a big pot of gumbo; he’s got a lemon meringue pie over there; he’s probably in his underwear, and he’s got a cold can of Miller Lite and he’s dancing right now. To you dad — you taught what it means to be a man.”

Matthew McConaughey goes on to thank his mother, wife, and children for their support. 

Finally, Matthew McConaughey reveals the “hero” he chases. “Now when I was 15 years old, I had a very important person in my life come to me and say ‘Who’s your hero?’ And I said, ‘I don’t know. I gotta think about that. Give me a couple of weeks.’ I come back two weeks later — this person comes up and says  ‘Who’s your hero?’ I said, ‘I thought about it. You know who it is?’ I said, ‘It’s me in 10 years.’”

Matthew McConaughey Made ‘History’ During His Oscar Acceptance Speech

According to Radiox, Matthew McConaughey made Oscar history during his 2014 acceptance speech by making the “Wordiest Speech” that the award show has ever had. He ended up saying 547 words during his time on the stage. 

Halle Berry follows Matthew McConaughey as the second wordiest speech at the Oscar. She accepted the award for Best Actress in 2002 for her role in Monster Ball. Other actors and actresses on the wordiest list include Greer Garson (518 words); Cate Blanchett (512 words); Sandra Bullock (492 words); Jamie Foxx (492 words); and Adrien Brody (456 words). 

However, in contrast, Patty Duke only said TWO words during her acceptance at the 1962 Oscars for her Best Supporting Actress speech. She won the award for her role in The Miracle Worker.