Matthew McConaughey Reveals The Tragic Backstory Of His Famous Line 'Just Keep Livin'

Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong might be the most recognizable stoner comedy stars of all time, but they're not as quotable as Matthew McConaughey's Wooderson. The underachieving pothead who stole the show in Richard Linklater's nostalgic 'Dazed and Confused' (1993) gave us gems like the highly quotable 'alright, alright, alright.'

And he also coined the slacker mantra 'Just keep livin' - his advice to the film's protagonist Randall 'Pink' Floyd (Jason London) when responsibilities and the pressures of growing up begin encroaching on his laid-back lifestyle.

But that carefree motto is actually much deeper than it seems on the surface. In fact, it was born out of personal tragedy.

"Six days into shooting 'Dazed and Confused' my father passed away from a heart attack and that [line] was what came to me in how to deal with my relationship with him spiritually," McConaughey told Stephen Colbert yesterday on 'The Late Show.' "Since he wasn't going to be here physically, you gotta just keep livin' to keep someone alive who's no longer with you - you keep their spirit alive. So that's where 'just keep livin' came from." 

So the line isn't about dodging responsibility but tuning out the distractions in life that disconnect us from the things we love - especially the people that are no longer living. 

Yesterday wasn't the first time McConaughey has opened up about the source material for Wooderson. Back in 2011, he told CBC's George Stroumboulopoulos about the origins of "alright, alright, alright." Check it out.


Before Nikki Furrer was a cannabis writer and professional, she had another dream job: owning an independent bookstore. While she says her business venture as a bookseller was ultimately untenable, it did open her eyes to how much she enjoys “matching the reader to the exact book they’re craving.” This zest for matchmaking is evident in her book 'A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis.' As the title suggests, 'A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis' is for women who are curious about cannabis. A more appropriate title, however, might have been a 'A Beginner’s Guide to Cannabis.' Though Furrer touches on applications for the plant that are specific to women—relief of menstrual pain or beauty (though her belief that cannabis is a beauty product because it makes you appear more well-rested seems relevant to both men and women—much of the information in the book is relevant to anyone who is totally inexperienced with cannabis, apprehensive about trying it and needs a run down of the basics.

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