The 53-year-old Texas native made a Tuesday (12 September) appearance on the US chat show in promotion of his debut children’s book, Just Because.
After discussing the book’s importance to him as a father of three, co-host Sunny Hostin changed direction to applaud McConaughey for being “so outspoken against violence, and gun violence in particular”.
“In 2021, you considered a run for governor of the state of Texas before deciding to focus on your family. Do you think political office is in your future?” Hostin asked.
“If it’s where I would deem myself most useful, yes,” the Interstellar star responded. “Right now, I want to be most useful as a father.”
Following up, Behar further questioned: “Do you think you could get elected in Texas being anti-gun?”
“One thing about me and politics,” McConaughey responded, pointing a finger at Behar, “to give you a direct statement right there, is me playing a game I’m not interested in playing.”
“Ok, don’t do it,” Behar conceded.
After a devastating mass shooting at an elementary school in McConaughey’s hometown of Uvalde, Texas, in June 2022, the actor pleaded with his fellow Americans to “renegotiate our wants from our needs”.
“We have to rearrange our values and find common ground above this devastating American reality that has tragically become our children’s issue,” he wrote on Instagram at the time. “This is an epidemic we can control, and whichever side of the aisle we may stand on, we all know we can do better. We must do better.”
McConaughey and his wife, Camila Alves, have since launched the Greenlights Grant Initiative, which, according to the website, “is focused on raising awareness about school safety grants, equipping school districts with resources and tools for successful applications, and ensuring continuous and more equitable federal funding for school safety”.
The actor has credited his children with helping him come up with the idea for Just Because, which is a collection of “life lessons that empowers readers, big and small, to celebrate how we are all full of possibility”.
He shares three children with Alves: Levi, 15, Vida, 13, and Livingston, 10.
Just Because is out now.