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Matthew McConaughey is about to appear in a string of high-profile silver screen roles including as a Civil-War-era rebel hero and Stephen King movie villain. But he’s still haunted by the nihilistic character he played on the small screen for HBO’s True Detective. In fact, he liked the character so much that he’s still interested in reprising the role.
“I miss Rust Cohle, man,” he said in an interview with Rich Eisen on The Rich Eisen Show Wednesday. “I miss watching him on Sunday nights.”
He might be an A-lister. He might be an Oscar winner. He might be one of the buzziest celebrities orbiting through the current pop-culture zeitgeist. But don’t think for a minute that Matthew McConaughey has gone Hollywood.
In an interview with Garden & Gun magazine for its February/March issue, conducted last year while the actor was in New Orleans to shoot his Civil War action film “The Free State of Jones,” the Texas-born McConaughey waxed on at length about why he loves the American South in general and the Crescent City in particular — right down to its potholes.
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It’s quite simple, really: Matthew McConaughey is a charmer—beard or no beard. From his signature drawl to his facial expressions that the world has come to know and love, there appears to be nothing false or hidden about him. McConaughey is honest, open, and firm in his beliefs. Perhaps his most attractive feature is that he is a true family man, who openly gushes about his kids (Livingston, 2, Vida, 5, and Levi,6) and his wife (model Camila Alves). Among his passions is a charity he started with Alves, Just Keep Livin Foundation, dedicated to empowering high school students by providing them with the tools to lead active lives. The actor sat down with us on a rainy afternoon in a city he calls home–Austin, Texas–to chat candidly about his foundation, his hopes for his children, what he’s most grateful for, and how he really feels about that beard of his. Watch the video and read the extended interview below:
How does the Just Keep Livin Foundation directly impact kids and their education?
We’ve got an after-school voluntary curriculum that we put in inner city high schools. We’re in five states right now. It’s two hours after school where kids come to try and set exercise goals, whether it’s trying out for the soccer team, run a half marathon, or fit into the prom dress, whatever that may be. There’s a nutrition aspect as well. We learn how to eat well on a budget. Instead of six burgers here’s what you can buy on the same budget at the supermarket and you get to go home and cook it with your family. We have a gratitude circle—a lot of folks believe in gratitude and being thankful for what you have.
Speaking of that gratitude circle, what are you most grateful for?
I’ve been in the gratitude circle in one of our after-school classes pretty soon after I had each one of our children, so that was an amazing time. Got a new job, got two, got three, and then one weekday we were in there and my wife had had a really nice weekend. And I wouldn’t go into details but I was just telling the guys, you know when you have a really good date weekend and they all understood [laughs]. That’s a long list.
Matthew McConaughey knows his life is more than just alright, alright, alright.
Between his solid acting career and adorable children, the actor finds himself grateful for many things in and around his life.
But in the new issue of Haute Living Los Angeles, the Oscar winner makes it clear that Camila Alves is a huge reason why he’s so happy.
“Now I get to wake up next to someone who I know loves me the way she does—my wife—who gave birth to our three beautiful, healthy children,” he shared in the May/June issue available Wednesday. “I get to live in a nice place, and I have things to look forward to every day—work, play, and sometimes nothing at all.”
He added, “I look forward to Mondays. It’s very rare to have a career where I don’t need days off. I love going to work.”
While he continues to book new roles for the big-screen, McConaughey hopes the long shoots and not always ideal hours can be a teachable moment for his kids.
After winning an Oscar for his role in Dallas Buyers Club, the actor’s kids wanted an explanation as to what the special trophy was for. He immediately took them back to the time when daddy “was skinny.”
“He’d go to work every day and you’d be up and he was gone, but I’d come read to you and say goodnight,” the Texas native recalled telling his youngest fans. “What they learned is not that if you go to work you get a trophy, but if you do something really good today, you can be rewarded for it later.”
It’s also all about paying it forward and spreading your gifts with others. Today, McConaughey remains active with his foundation and clothing line Just Keep Livin. It’s a small gesture that could prove to be a big difference in students’ lives.
“I’ve been given a lot with the help of the people around me,” the 45-year-old explained. “And I think I’ve done a pretty good job of taking care of what I’ve been given.”
“Extra’s” Renee Bargh met up with Matthew McConaughey and his wife Camila Alves in Matthew’s hometown of Austin, where they opened up about life with their three kids, their Just Keep Livin foundation, new clothing line, and revealed the meaning behind Matthew’s signature catchphrase, “Alright, alright, alright.”
Matthew McConaughey visits ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ at Rockefeller Center on November 6, 2014 in New York City.
On his role in Interstellar:
“I’ll say this, it’s the most ambitious film that Chris Nolan has ever directed. By far. It goes out there further than any story I’ve ever seen. The epic scale is larger, but also, the intimacy, the pulse of the movie. It’s the most human film he’s done as well. We’re not dealing with archetypes like Batman. We’re dealing with a guy, with family, with choice… It’s as big as it gets, man.”
On telling his agent he wouldn’t accept rom-coms anymore:
“After eight months, I remember my agent calling and he said, ‘I think I got the message out.’ And I said, ‘How do you know?’ And he said, ‘Because nobody is sending s**t.'”
On finding himself dissatisfied with his career [before the ‘McConaissance’]:
“I said to myself: ‘Why are you doing it then?’ And I said, ‘I want to be three things. I want to be a husband. I want to be a father. And I want to be an actor for hire.’ I had to start downsizing to get happier.”
On teaching his kids to work hard now for rewards later:
“Kids don’t think about later. Everything is right now. So that’s what we’re trying to teach them: delayed gratification. Like, remember that time when Papai was skinny [for Dallas Buyers Club] and I wasn’t around much, and I couldn’t go outside and play with you? Well, for the work I did then, a year and a half later, somebody deemed it excel- lent, and gave me a first-place trophy for it.”
On his son Lexi:
“He asked me what a tsunami was, and if one could come here [to Malibu]. And I said, ‘Yeah.’ So he said, ‘Well, what do we do?’ And I go, ‘Well, you grab your most prized possessions. We get the dog, we get the cat and we git out quick.’ And he goes, ‘But, Papai, we also take the Oscar, right?’ I was like, ‘Good man! Good man! I’m glad you picked that up. Yes, we do.'”