Matthew McConaughey brings leading man charm to SU2C cancer campaign, focusing on how R&D saves lives

Alright, alright, alright. Matthew McConaughey is lending his smooth Texan voice to a cancer awareness campaign. Working with Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) and Visit Myrtle Beach, the Oscar-winning actor has created a public service announcement to raise awareness of the importance of funding cancer research. 

SU2C, which launched as a division of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, has repeatedly drawn on star power for its campaigns, working with McConaughey across multiple events since 2014 and enlisting other actors and singers to support its work. 

The new PSA starts with an aerial view of a beach, before showing a man walking hand-in-hand across the sand with his young daughter. A close-up of the daughter’s face as a child transitions to a close-up of her face as a young woman, laughing lovingly with a young man. Over those images, McConaughey says “life is full of moments, from first steps to first loves; moments that make life special.”

We then see McConaughey for the first time. Speaking to the camera, the actor says that “life can also bring us difficult and disruptive moments, like a cancer diagnosis.” The PSA shows the young woman’s parents receiving bad news in a doctor’s office. McConaughey then cuts to the chase.

“[SU2C] know the problem of cancer won't be solved by one doctor, one lab or one hospital. That's why Stand Up to Cancer brings together top minds from different fields to find new and better treatments so patients can thrive,” McConaughey says. 

As the actor delivers those lines, we see the young woman getting ready for her wedding. Initially, only the daughter and mom are shown. Then, both women look across the room and see the dad, tears in his eyes. McConaughey concludes by saying that SU2C’s work means that “when it matters, we can all show up from moments of a lifetime” before directing viewers to the charity’s website.

Visit Myrtle Beach is, at first glance, an unusual participant in a cancer awareness campaign. The group promotes tourism along a 60-mile stretch of coastline in South Carolina, focusing on attractions such as a boardwalk, golf courses and restaurants to attract visitors. But Visit Myrtle Beach has also identified an opportunity to use the region’s tranquility and proximity to medical centers to attract health tourists.