September 23, 2023

Camila Alves surprises Matthew McConaughey to celebrate his book


Matthew McConaughey has had an incredible career as an actor, and recently, as an author. The artist released his first book Greenlights, on October 20, 2020. It was a major bestseller, debuting at number one on The New York Times non-fiction best-seller list for the week ending October 24, 2020. Fast forward to September 12, 2023, it is past its 100th week on the celebrated list. To celebrate, his wife Camila Alves surprised him in New York and revealed the Empire State Building would beam with bright green lights, in honor of his success.

The Sing star shared a video of the special moment his wife surprised him on Instagram. She held a book with handwritten pages, flipping each one to McConaughey’s surprise, who initially asked, “What are you doing here?”

“‘Three years ago you introduced Greenlights to the world. Well, you are close to hitting 100 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. We are lighting the NY sky greenlights baby!” He read aloud.

The significance of the green light

When McConaughey wrote the book, he exiled himself in the desert without electricity or a phone for 52 days. But the project started decades before then, originating from diaries and journals he began writing when he was 14 years old. His wife, who recently opened up about a heated fight with his mom, is one of the main reasons he got it finished.

“I’ve been keeping a diary for 36 years. A couple of years ago, my wife kicked me in the backside to say, ‘You’ve been talking about sitting down with those for 36 years and seeing what it is for a while. Now’s the time. Get out of here,” he explained at an event, per Vanity Fair.


McConaughey described the book as a collection of “stories, prayers, poems, people and places and a whole bunch of bumper stickers.” “Ever since I learned to write, I’ve been keeping a journal, writing down anything that turned me on and turned me off, made me laugh, made me cry, made me question, or kept me up at night,” he said in an IGTV video ahead of its release.

While it sounds like a memoir, McConaughey instead calls it an “approach book.” The 53-year-old describes a green light as a sign from the Universe, God, or by chance that you should continue with what you are doing.

Matthew McConaughey, the author

It’s not the only book McConaughey has his name on. Eight days after the release of Greenlights, The Best Motivational Speeches of All Times was released, which has Denzel Washington, J. K. Rowling, and McConaughey as its authors.

With the success of Greenlights, McConaughey was motivated to try his hands with a children’s picture book. On September 12, 2023, Just Because was released. The 32-page book is full of his favorite life lessons in the form of couplets and is marketed for 4 to 8-year-olds.

The father of 3 said he had the idea in the middle of the night after waking up from a dream. “It came to me at 2:30 a.m. as a ditty in a dream,” he told PEOPLE. “It was a song in my mind, and I got up and wrote it down.”

Although it’s marketed for children, there are some life lessons even adults could learn from. “My mom’s 91, and she said, ‘That’s not just for kids. You even reminded me of some things in there,” he explained.

McConaughey told The Hollywood Reporter, “I’m finding that after I’m having conversations with my kids about this book, I’m still continuing conversations with myself, conversations with my wife, conversations with other people about some of these couplets.”

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