Matthew McConaughey Thanks ‘God, Who I Look Up To,’ in Oscar Speech

Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto

Matthew McConaughey won the Oscar for best actor on Sunday for his role in Dallas Buyers Club as a homophobic, rodeo-loving Texan who contracts AIDS and becomes an unlikely savior for gay patients and drug addicts desperate for treatment.

McConaughey lost some 50 pounds for the role, looking gaunt as real-life crusader Ron Woodroof, a cowboy who fought the U.S. government during the early AIDS epidemic of the 1980s to provide patients with medicines he imported from foreign countries.

“First off, I want to thank God, because that’s who I look up to,” the actor said accepting the award. “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.”

The win is the first Academy Award for McConaughey, 44, once known primarily as the handsome leading man in romantic comedies such as The Wedding Planner and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.

“Whatever it is we look up to, whatever it is we look forward to and whoever it is we’re chasing, to that I say, ‘Amen,’ to that I say, ‘Alright, alright, alright,'” McConaughey said adding his trademark exclamation that drew laughter from the audience, “to that I say just keep living.”

In recent years, McConaughey has sought more serious roles, winning critical acclaim for movies including The Lincoln Lawyer and Mud, and the HBO TV series True Detective.

As Woodroof, the actor brought to life a man who evolved from detestable bigot to a lifeline for fellow AIDS patients, many of them gay or transgender. At the same time, he fought for his own life at a time when doctors were scrambling to find effective treatments for the fatal disease.

McConaughey’s passion for the role helped bring Dallas Buyers Club to the big screen after 20 years of setbacks, when other actors dropped out and major Hollywood studios rejected it.

The actor, himself a Texan, helped bring together financing and embarked on his extreme weight loss to force the movie into production. His role has brought him more than a dozen awards, including a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award.

The film was made for about $5 million, a tiny sum by Hollywood standards, and filmed in 25 days.

McConaughey beat rival Oscar nominees Bruce Dern for Nebraska, Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street, Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave and Christian Bale for American Hustle.

Reporting by Lisa Richwine and Eric Kelsey, editing by Jill Serjeant and Sandra Maler

© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.


Related topics:

See an error in this article?

Send us a correction

To contact us or to submit an article

Click and play our featured shows

John Lindell Calls For Mark Driscoll to Repent

John Lindell is calling on Mark Driscoll to repent. Following the controversy that ensued last week at the Stronger Men’s Conference, John Lindell is now asking Mark Driscoll to repent as he releases new information and personal communication between Driscoll...

Christian & Jewish Leaders Reject ‘Two-State Delusion’

A recent meeting of over 150 Christian, Jewish and conservative leaders addressed the international issue of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue on Monday, Apr. 15, following the drone and missile strikes conducted against Israel from Iran. The relatively...

End Times, Revelation, Rapture

WATCH: Demon Screams When It Hears About the Rapture

Do demons comprehend what the rapture is? In a reaction video, commentator Kap Chatfield shared footage of a video where a demon can be heard screaming during a church service after the pastor mentioned the rapture. The pastor in the...

Evangelist Daniel Kolenda

The Untold Story of Evangelism Multiplying Around the World

The gospel is going forth all over the world in unprecedented ways. In an exclusive interview with Charisma News, filmmaker Chris Worthington shared about his new documentary, “Multiplied.” Unlike other films and documentaries, this one highlights the evangelistic crusades by...

Mike Bickle

IHOPKC Officially Announces Shuttering of Ministries

International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC) has officially announced via press release the staggered closure of ministries in the wake of the sexual and spiritual abuse scandal involving founder Mike Bickle. While reports the day prior to the press...

A man holding hands with a woman out of his wife's sight.

News Media Mainstreaming Adultery, Diminishing Marriage

In a recent bewildering article, Fox News, which often prides itself on offering to the right side of the political spectrum faith-based content, has decided to publish an article extolling the virtues that adulterers hold fast to (just not marriage)....

Mark Driscoll and John Lindell

UPDATE: Lindell and Driscoll Reconcile as Sword Swallower Responds

Mark Driscoll and John Lindell have reconciled following controversy at the Stronger Men’s Conference. During the conference, Driscoll called out the spirit of Jezebel for being present due to sword swallower Alex Magala’s performance where he removed his shirt and...

Outdoor plaque that says,

Learn to Listen to Holy Spirit’s Nudges

Are you fighting a battle right now? I believe we all have battles to fight at different times in life. But I want to encourage you. Whatever you may be facing today know that, in Christ, you are more than...