Matthew McConaughey didn't prepare a speech for his 2014 Oscar win—but he didn't need to. Somehow, the actor knew it would be "alright, alright, alright."
As McConaughey reflects in A.frame's "Behind the Oscars Speech" series, it was fate that he'd use that signature phrase while accepting Best Actor for his role in Dallas Buyers Club.
"You know, that's the callback to the very first three words I ever said on film for what I thought might be a one-night hobby that I'd never do again—which turned out to be, 29 years later, a career that I love," he explains. "I'm honored to sign off with that now, because it calls back to a beginning for me."
McConaughey first uttered "Alright, alright, alright" as his character, David Wooderson, in 1993's Dazed and Confused. It's since become a catchphrase throughout the actor's life and career— carrying him to his Oscar win 20 years later.
In Dallas Buyers Club, McConaughey starred as Ron Woodroof, a man diagnosed with AIDS in the mid-1980s who works around the system to help fellow patients get the medication they need. Jennifer Garner and Jared Leto also starred in the film, which was directed by Jean-Marc Vallée. Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack penned the script, while Robbie Brenner and Rachel Winter produced. Leto won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and the film took home the Oscar for Best Makeup and Hairstyling as well. It was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Editing.
"I had quite a release right then of joy, probably some tears, and then moved up and that wonderful position to be able to get up on that stage and accept an award given to me by my peers," McConaughey remembers of the night he won his Oscar. "People that I admire, whose work I admire, said, 'Yep, excellent work, excellent craftsmanship. Yes, A-plus.'"