Ancient Celtic legend says that the McConaughey was at first a statue chiseled in the likeness of the Gods, who was later given infinite life, youth, and dank herb in exchange for an eternal commitment to remaining a thespian.  Mortal time means nothing to Matthew McConaughey, but if it were applicable, he would, by human terms, today celebrate his forty-fifth birthday.

Matthew McConaughey is an entity of pure sex, a man who could serve canned vegetables on his chest to men and women alike and charge more for the meal than any upscale restaurant in Los Angeles.  Matthew McConaughey once entered into a wet t-shirt contest with Kate Upton and every heterosexual male in attendance cried in confusion.  We’re celebrating a man so purely awesome, that he refuses to put on deodorant in fear of covering up his own natural scent (which offers the combination of a soothing tobacco pipe, hemp, and Wilt Chamberlain’s offseason sheets). Some have complained that McConaughey projects an off-putting arrogance, but for him, hubris is the same as common sense.  Who can fault him for constructing a poetic Oscar acceptance speech in which he really only thanked… Matthew McConaughey.

If more reason were needed to discuss the cinematic exploits of McConaughey, it could be noted that tonight marks the opening of Interstellar, perhaps the largest premiere of the actor’s career. So to mark the occasion, I’m going to list my five favorite Matthew McConaughey roles.

5. Angels in the Outfield –  Ben Williams

Walt Disney Pictures

Walt Disney Pictures

He didn’t have a whole lot of acting to do in this 1994 throwaway Disney film, but Matthew McConaughey did bare his glorious pecs for the first time.    Religious historians have ranked this revelation as one of the most prominent miracles of modern times and the pope actually keeps hundreds of copies of this film in a safe in the Vatican.

Performance Rating:  Alright

4. Dallas Buyers Club

EXCLUSIVE: Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto film scenes together for The Dallas Buyers Club in New Orleans.

Focus Features

While his performance in Dallas Buyers Club earned him the highest achievement in industry recognition, it also displayed his infamously altered body.  Hollywood insiders can call this his highest achievement all they would like, but I can’t fully endorse any movie that gets rid of Matt’s shimmering bulky pectorals.

Performance Rating:  Alright

3. Mud

Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions

Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions

Here McConaughey plays a sort of southern gothic fairy tale prince, a charming but troubled and dangerous poet, with a sensitivity that doesn’t for one second dilute his machismo.  A chipped tooth and an inarticulate belief in magic work to build one of my favorite antihero characters of the current decade.

Performance Rating:  Alright, Alright

2. Reign of Fire

Buena Vista Pictures

Buena Vista Pictures

I’d like to thinks that this is the least amount of acting McConaughey has ever put into a film.  I’d like to think this futuristic badass beast slayer is the truest presentation of McConaughey that a film has ever offered.  I love me a good apocalypse movie.  I love me some dragon stories.  Put those two things together and tie them with McConaughey, and you’ve got yourself one underrated action thriller.

Performance Rating:  Alright, Alright

1. Killer Joe

LD Entertainment

LD Entertainment

Joking aside, this is sincerely my favorite McConaughey performance and movie.  It exhibits braveness, commitment, Friendkin-driven strangeness, and a menace that he’s never exhibited before.  Of all the movies of his recent “resurgence,”  this stands out as the most unique and, for me, entertaining.  It makes me hope that he keeps going at such a high level, and every now and then, he ends up on the fringes.

Performance Rating:  Alright, Alright, Alright

Matthew McConnaughey 45

Happy Birthday! (Warner Bros. Pictures; Magic Mike)