Matthew McConaughey has won an Oscar, headlined blockbusters, spawned several catchphrases, and written a memoir, but none of those are in contention for “biggest accomplishment” of his life. In his interview for the Dr. Oz Show airing on Thursday, McConaughey didn’t hesitate to name what that is: his children.
Yes, yes, that’s an easy enough platitude for any famous person to say. It is basic humanity to love your kids and animal instinct to be proud of continuing one’s DNA, after all. But McConaughey is a rare man who actually said his life’s ambition was to be a dad.
“The only thing I’ve ever known that I wanted to be, was a father,” he told Oz while promoting his memoir Greenlights. “That came to me at 8 years old. I remember my dad was a big ‘sirs’ man — ‘please’ and ‘thank you and ‘shake someone’s hand you look them in the eye.’ I remember being an 8-year-old kid and meeting these men, and I would look up and shake their hands. ‘Yes, sir. Nice to meet you, sir.'”
This was actually a really positive experience for McConaughey, and he wanted to be like these men he had to treat with deference.
“In my 8-year-old mind, the common denominator, besides respect for elders, of why I was saying ‘sir’ to them, was that they were all fathers. I remember it going through my 8-year-old mind: ‘Oh, that’s when you’ve made it. Oh, that’s the pinnacle of life. That’s success.’ I knew from that day on I wanted to be a father.”
Wow, when I was 8 years old, all I wanted when I grew up was to own a pet jaguar. Goes to show that you have to choose your life goals wisely.
On his Greenlights promo tour, McConaughey has been speaking rather glowingly of his children with wife Camila Alves, Levi, 12, Vida, 10, and Livingston, 8, and how they have been faring during the pandemic.
“They have doubled down on their hobbies, creative things and parts of themselves I don’t think they would have leaned into if they were back in school,” he told People last week, describing how all three became interested in photography and other artistic endeavors. They even helped produce his People cover shoot.
“They’re becoming pretty good storytellers [too],” he said. “Our youngest one will come fill us in: ‘Oh, I’m on chapter two …’ Vida really likes to paint and draw and loves graphic novels. … For Levi, it’s probably more music. Basically he came out of the womb knowing a minor from major key on the piano. In the last six months, he really got into listening to composers, and he now can listen to a movie and tell you, ‘Oh, that’s Hans Zimmer,’ or ‘That’s John Williams,’ which is really cool.”
OK, yeah, that does sound better than any old Best Actor trophy to us, too.
These other famous people are also #parentinggoals for how they teach their kids about racism.