Matthew McConaughey: The Sexiest Man Alive

11/16/2005 at 06:00 AM EST

Matthew McConaughey: The Sexiest Man Alive
"My rule is to break one sweat a day," says McConaughey, "whether that's going for a run, whether that's dancing, whether that's loving – just break a sweat a day."
Cliff Watts
Mysterious brooders will always have their place among the sexy. But for sheer mood-lifting powers, nothing beats a guy with a twinkle in his eye. Blissfully, this year's Sexiest Man Alive, Matthew McConaughey, is a one-man endorphin rush. Here's a Hollywood star who's happiest grilling steaks outside his Airstream camper with a can of Miller Lite in one hand, dirt beneath his toes and his girl (actress Penélope Cruz) by his side.

But don't let the hot-buttered Texas toast drawl or good-time-lovin' rep fool you: McConaughey is fluent in Spanish, cites the dictionary as his favorite book ("I love to look up words") and calls his mom, Kay, every Sunday. He also reveals a sly sense of humor. Case in point: His bathrobe is monogrammed with 5'11 3/4", his exact height.

Loyal to his friends and friends with his exes, he celebrated his 36th birthday on Nov. 4 with a surprise party at L.A.'s Dolce eatery thrown by Cruz, 31, his girlfriend of one year. "I had told her I wanted good food, good drink and for every single face to make me smile," says this year's cover boy. "And each one did."

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It's been a good year for the low-key leading man, whose personal motto is Just Keep Livin': He was oasis-cool in the summer action hit Sahara – snagging his costar Cruz along the way – and most recently held his own opposite one of his screen heroes, Al Pacino, in the drama Two for the Money.

On this, the 20th anniversary of PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive title, McConaughey earns our top spot for combining a heaping helping of Texas's finest southern charm with the best of all the heartthrobs who've come before him. So now, let us turn the floor over to McConaughey, who offers some surprising answers on our first-ever SAT (Sexy Aptitude Test).

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