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Year: 2013 (86th) Academy Awards
Category: Actor in a Leading Role
Film Title: Dallas Buyers Club
Winner: Matthew McConaughey
Presenter: Jennifer Lawrence
Date & Venue: March 2, 2014; Dolby Theatre
Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you to the Academy for this, all six thousand members. Thank you to the other nominees. All these performances were impeccable in my opinion; I didn't see a false note anywhere. I want to thank Jean-Marc Vallée, our director. I want to thank Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner, who I worked with daily.
There's a few things, about three things, to my account that I need each day. One of 'em is something to look up to. Another is something to look forward to. And another is someone to chase. Now, first off, I want to thank God, 'cause that's who I look up to. He has graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or any other human hand. He has shown me that it's a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates. In the words of the late Charlie Laughton*, who said, "When you've got God, you've got a friend. And that friend is you."
To my family, that's who and what I look forward to. To my father, who I know is up there right now with a big pot of gumbo. He's got a lemon meringue pie over there. He's probably in his underwear and he's got a cold can of Miller Lite. And he's dancin' right now. To you, Dad, you taught me what it means to be a man. To my mother who's here tonight, who taught me and my two older brothers – demanded – that we respect ourselves, and what we in turn learned was then we were better able to respect others. Thank you for that, Mama. To my wife Camila and my kids, Levi, Vida and Mr. Stone, the courage and significance you give me every day I go out the door is unparalleled. You are the four people in my life that I want to make the most proud of me. Thank you.
And to my hero; that's who I chase. Now, when I was 15 years old I had a very important person in my life come to me and say, "Who's your hero?" And I said, I don't know; I gotta think about that. Give me a couple of weeks. I come back two weeks later, this person comes up and says, "Who's your hero?" I said, I thought about it. You know who it is? I said, it's me in 10 years. So I turned 25; ten years later that same person comes to me and goes, "So, are you a hero?" And I was like, not even close! No, no, no. She said, "Why?" I said, because my hero's me at 35. So you see every day, every week, every month and every year of my life, my hero's always 10 years away. I'm never gonna be my hero. I'm not gonna attain that; I know I'm not. And that's just fine with me, because that keeps me with somebody to keep on chasin'.
So to any of us, whatever those things are: whatever it is we look up to, whatever it is we look forward to, and whoever it is we're chasin'. To that I say: Amen. To that I say: Alright, alright, alright. To that I say: Just keep livin'. Thank you.
[*Name and spelling not confirmed.]
© Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences[Note: All winners are present except where noted; NOT all winners may have spoken.]