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Matthew McConaughey: Already winning

By Lisa Respers France, CNN
updated 2:50 PM EST, Fri February 28, 2014
This week, it's all about Matthew McConaughey. The actor celebrates his 45th birthday on Tuesday, November 4, and on Friday his anticipated new Christopher Nolan movie, "Interstellar," opens in wide release. Here's a look back at the star's rise in Hollywood: This week, it's all about Matthew McConaughey. The actor celebrates his 45th birthday on Tuesday, November 4, and on Friday his anticipated new Christopher Nolan movie, "Interstellar," opens in wide release. Here's a look back at the star's rise in Hollywood:
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Matthew McConaughey through the years
Matthew McConaughey through the years
Matthew McConaughey through the years
Matthew McConaughey through the years
Matthew McConaughey through the years
Matthew McConaughey through the years
Matthew McConaughey through the years
Matthew McConaughey through the years
Matthew McConaughey through the years
Matthew McConaughey through the years
Matthew McConaughey through the years
Matthew McConaughey through the years
Matthew McConaughey through the years
Matthew McConaughey through the years
Matthew McConaughey through the years
Matthew McConaughey through the years
Matthew McConaughey through the years
Matthew McConaughey through the years
Matthew McConaughey through the years
Matthew McConaughey through the years
Matthew McConaughey through the years
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Matthew McConaughey is having a moment thanks to "Dallas Buyers Club"
  • He's up for the best actor Oscar
  • His career has evolved from playing a stoner to dark roles

Watch "CNN Spotlight: Matthew McConaughey" on Friday, February 28, at 10 p.m. ET.

(CNN) -- Matthew McConaughey is having one hell of a year. From almost stealing "The Wolf of Wall Street" despite being on the screen for only a few moments, to the critical acclaim and awards he's racking up for his turn in "Dallas Buyers Club," and did we mention a little thing called his hit HBO TV series "True Detective?"

The kid's definitely alright, alright, alright.

The handsome actor has evolved from goofy schtick in films like "Dazed and Confused" to romantic leading man in movies like "The Wedding Planner" to darker roles such as "Killer Joe" where he plays a police officer who moonlights as a hit man.

But it's his turn as Ron Woodroof, an HIV positive man who smuggles drugs to AIDS patients, that has already won McConaughey a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award, and placed him on the road to gold at Sunday's 86th Academy Awards.

Oscars 2014: The nominees' list

The actor committed completely to the role, dropping more than 40 pounds and becoming nearly-skeletal. But it was the intensity of his performance that has several Hollywood pundits predicting him for a best actor Oscar win. McConaughey told GQ magazine he's enjoying this time in his life.

"I'm feeling very fulfilled," he said. "I'm in the clay in my career."

And his personal life, he added. In 2012 he married longtime girlfriend, model Camilla Alves with whom he has three children. He has frequently praised her for her support.

"We're a team," he recently told Variety in an interview. " I know it's not easy on her, though she does it with aplomb."

Alves supported him, he said, when he decided to take a break from acting to focus on their family. When he came back it was to take smaller roles that he was passionate about. During a recent appearance on "Inside the Actor's Studio," McConaughey said the time made him realize he wanted to "make some movies that I would pick out, that I would see."

It seems to have worked out well.

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