The 44-year-old walked away with his first Oscar after winning both the Golden Globe and SAG Award for his portrayal of AIDS patient Ron Woodroof in the biographical drama from Focus Features.
When he took the stage to accept his award, McConaughey, wearing a white tuxedo, calmed his usual exuberance by thanking God, his father, his mother, his wife, Camila Alves, and their children.
He concluded his heartfelt speech with his now-signature line — “All right, all right, all right” — from Dazed and Confused.
Last year’s best actress winner, Jennifer Lawrence [for Silver Linings Playbook], presented the award.
Dallas Buyers Club had a total of six nominations, including best picture and best supporting actor, which Jared Leto won earlier in the evening.
McConaughey had been the frontrunner in the best actor race throughout the awards season, with most experts, including The Hollywood Reporter’s Oscar analyst, Scott Feinberg, predicting a win.
Over the past year alone, McConaughey has done standout work not only as Woodroof, a man dying of AIDS who refuses to go down without a fight, but also in the films Mud and The Wolf of Wall Street and on TV in the current HBO hit True Detective.
He beat out fellow nominees Christian Bale (American Hustle), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), Bruce Dern (Nebraska), and Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street).
Matthew McConaughey flashed his blue suede shoes during THR’s interview at the Independent Spirit Awards. Watch more of the video to hear from the actor and his “big breakfast” plan with his family on the day after the Oscars.