Matthew McConaughey on meeting his wife the first time: ‘I went, what is that?’

Matthew McConaughey’s Free State of Jones is out this week. It’s an historical drama based on the true story of Newton Knight, a farmer who joined with slaves to lead a rebellion against the Confederacy during the Civil War. This is McConaughey’s first big film since Interstellar in 2014 and he needs it to be a hit. Unfortunately it’s getting skewered on Rotten Tomatoes with a 0% rating so far. It’s being compared to a TV miniseries and critics say it’s dry, too historically focused and not entertaining enough.

McConaughey’s performance is being praised as one of the few merits of the film, which you would expect as we know he can act. He also gives a great interview. I’ve always enjoyed listening to McConaughey speak, as he has a kind of poetic way of looking at the world. That comes through in his new People cover interview, where he tells cute anecdotes about his kids and his wife, Camila Alves. Here’s some of what he told People, from their print edition. They also have an hour long interview with him which you can see on their site. The video below is of McConaughey describing how he met his wife, which is really sweet.

Do you remember the first time you met Camila?
Damn right. [At] Jones, a club. [In Los Angeles in 2006]. I’m not a club guy, but I went with my buddy Lance [Armstrong] and some other friends. We’d had a great day at the beach; it was one of those summers where every day was just another green light. I was making margaritas at the table, and out of the corner of my eye this sort of aqua-green figure went floating across the frame about 20 feet in front of me. My eye went up, and I remember what came out of my mouth. I didn’t say, “Who is that?” I went, “What is that?” As I was trying to get that’s attention across the room, I went in my head, “This is not the kind of woman you call over across the room, McConaughey. Get your ass out of the chair and go get her.” Which I did. So I went over and I asked her and her friends to come sit down, which every man should know, invite the friends and that’s the way they’ll come on their own, which she did. She spoke Portugese over the loud music, and I spoke and understood Portuguese better than I’ve ever understood her in our nine years of dating. I also spoke the best Spanish I’ve ever spoken, which was close enough to Portuguese that night to be the international language of love. It worked out.

Why do you think that was the one? Beautiful women were around you all the time.
I believe two things. Got to be the right person, but it has to be the right time. I was not looking. I was very happily single and healthily single. I was sleeping well, I was spiritually sound. I was good with hanging with him. We met and the self-respect she had, the way I understood her and her relationship with family, the way she respected me but never took anything for granted, not putting on any airs whatsoever. You know when you catch the airs. You catch them in the silent moments. There was none of that. So we went on our first date, three nights later, and I knew then the next night after that I wanted to go on another date. I’ve been wanting to go on a date with her for the last nine years and not with anybody else.

And it happened fast
We had children first. Two of our children before we got married, before she handed me the invitation to our wedding. I was all for marriage and she was like “So when you going to get to it? We’re going to make time.”

What are your kids like?
Levi is the architect. Levi observes, Vida see, Livingston does. [Levi is] the most considerate person I know, but he loves to measure the anatomy of the situation. Very much a perfectionist like me. Vida just makes sense of situations. She cuts right to the nut of the answer. Levi and I’ll be trying to figure out the mystery of where the lost car keys are and coming up with scenarios. “Where was the jacket you wore yesterday? Have you checked the pockets?” Like, “Yeah, let’s go check.” Vida’s over in the corner drawing. This goes on for 15 minutes, and all of a sudden Vida will go, “Look what I drew, Papa.” You go, “Aw, that’s great, Vida.” She goes, “Glad you like it. Have you checked the ignition?” Walks off. Sure enough, they’re in the ignition. Then Livingston is the doer. He’s the monarch.

[From People Magazine, print edition and some quotes from video interview added]

I want to know the logistics of Camila speaking Portuguese. She came to America when she was 15 and she didn’t know English at the time, but I would assume she spoke English when she met McConaughey as she was 24. I remember when McConaughey first started dating Alves because we would get paparazzi pics of him grilling outside his Airstream trailer. He seriously lived in a trailer when he first met her and didn’t buy a house until after they were together for a while. He would also regularly exercise outside shirtless, go barefoot, and brush his teeth just walking around outside. Those were the days. The story about how he met Camila and just knew is so him, and it’s also really romantic. It reminds me of how Matt Damon described meeting his wife. These guys are actors so I might be skeptical of how they romanticize meeting their wives, but most actors don’t talk about their wives so glowingly. There’s something genuine about their relationships. Alright alright alright.

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72 Responses to “Matthew McConaughey on meeting his wife the first time: ‘I went, what is that?’”

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  1. Maria says:

    “This is not the kind of woman you call over across the room, McConaughey”

    Ah…not that kind of woman.

    • MrsBPitt says:

      yeah, if a guy “called” to me, across a room to get over there, I’m afraid a very unlady like gesture would be forthcoming from me!

    • jinni says:

      Maybe he means she wasn’t the kind of woman that would be easily starstruck/ impressed by his celebrity into just going over when he bids her over.
      I bet he has a bunch of women throwing themselves at him or that if he made eye contact with them they’d just go over to him. I doubt he was trying to imply that women that would just come over if he called them are somehow inferior or less worthy than women that he has to get up and go over to talk to them. Just that, he could tell that it would take more effort to get her to give him the time of day.

      • Amanduh says:

        That’s how I took it too, Jinni. I’m sure he has hordes of women vying for his attention and would do anything he asked. This one was different…not better or worse, just different.

      • qwerty says:

        That’s not how I took it, sadly.

    • HollyG says:

      In one of the articles that CB linked in the post, Camilla says that he did the exact opposite. She even used the same phrase “call her over” but says she refused to respond, and he had to get up and approach her in person.

      • Mrs. Ari Gold says:

        And I don’t think that’s the only thing he’s exaggerating here. I always feel like he’s a case of ‘doth protest too much’ when I hear him speak about his wife. It always sounds almost like he’s trying to talk himself into being into it. He’s clearly very commited to her but the rest is too over the top to be real.

      • isabelle says:

        Welll…its not uncommon for men & women to see things differently. Men actually seem to romanticize things much more than women.

  2. AG-UK says:

    I like him and I am from Texas and normally when I am there and hear the accent throws me off but his is very nice on the ears. I wanted to see that but not out here until the fall sooooo

  3. Maya says:

    I love Matthew and I like this couple – they seem genuinely in love and adore their children.

    While Matt Damon sounds fake and tries to make himself look humble – Matthew C looks genuine in his love for his wife.

    • MrsBPitt says:

      THIS….I always get “fake” from Matt Damon, like he is acting the role of the great husband. On the other hand, Mattew M. seems genuinely in love!

      • jinni says:

        Yup. When Matt compliments his wife it comes off as him actually trying to humble brag about how he’s not like other actors cause he married a nobody. So that obviously makes him less Hollywood more real which equals him being a better person than others in his industry.

      • Nancy says:

        Jinni: Just because she isn’t famous doesn’t make her a nobody. It probably is to her advantage, no competition. Look at a Taylor Swift for example, so many of her breakups are whispered to be because of a competition for the golden ring. It appears Camila just wants to be a happy and fulfilled wife and mother. Ah, just trying to see the cup half full once again, instead of half empty with a leak.

      • Locke Lamora says:

        I could never do that. If I married someone who is so much richer and more famous than I am, I would never feel equal in the relationship. I don’t know how these women do it. I think I’d be pretty unhappy if I was only known as someone’s wife

      • jinni says:

        @Nancy: I don’t really think she’s a nobody. I was making reference to how Matt always seems to talk about his wife. He always makes a big stink about marrying a non-celeb ( he calls her a “civilian”) as if that makes him better than his peers and it it always comes off less like he’s saying she’s great for being normal and more like he’s patting himself on the back for actually marrying a regular person.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        My impression is that Damon says marrying a “civilian” makes it easier for them to remain more private, not that he married an inferior or it makes him better than his peers.

      • Myrna says:

        Matt Damon, for me, is the consummate gentleman and an incredibly genuine person.
        Nothing about him comes off as fake.

        On the contrary, Matthew Mc seems contrived and I find his “poetic” way of speaking annoying.

        On Alves, I never found her to be attractive in photos, but after seeing her in motion in her new cooking gig on Today, she is stunning! Absolutely stunning – moves with such grace and has a lovely way.
        She’s incredibly poised and seems kind.
        Not to mention that she has an exquisite face and body.
        I now see how she landed a movie star.

      • Locke Lamora says:

        I’m the exact opposite. Everything about Damon comes across as fake.

        Is Camilla aslo a cook now? How many of these famous wives are gonna be cooks now?

      • Nancy says:

        I know. I tried to change the comment and it wouldn’t allow me. I knew what you were saying Jinni. Damon referring to his wife as a civilian, even in jest is proof of what a douche he is………at least in my opinion. Arrogant Martian! @Locke Lamora: You speak the truth!

    • Cynthia says:

      @Locke Lamora Equality in marriage is a myth. There is always one person that is up (whatever that means) than the other partner. Right now there is a shift where women are holding the power, and making more money. And the research coming out is that those marriages now have a higher rate of divorce.

      • Locke Lamora says:

        But not by such a huge margin. The gap in “normal” marriages is much smaller than the one in these marriages.

      • isabelle says:

        My mom was the breadwinner in our family and parents were married almost 35 years before Dad passed. Know friends of mine where women are the breadwinners and have good marriages. Have friends with men as breadwinners, horrible marriages. Bad marriages are bad marriages. What really matters in the end is how much selfishness exists and how you fight.

      • Natalie says:

        Probably because those women can afford to divorce without being severely financially affected.

  4. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I have an irrational dislike of Matthew, I think because he reminds me of several old boyfriends. He’s so full of himself and has that kind of smarmy “charm” that thinks it’s more charming than it is. I don’t find him attractive on any level. I suppose he can act, I’ll say that, grudgingly.

    • macy says:

      yes! this!

    • meme says:

      me too!

    • teacakes says:

      yeah, not my type at all.

      Though his wife is gorgeous. I didn’t know who she was until I posted a pic of myself on a fashion message board intro thread and someone told me I looked like her, and let’s just say, I have never been more flattered after a google. (this is outright bragging btw)

    • Dinah says:

      He’s the hybrid love child of Marjoe Gortner and Don Johnson. There’s other ways to explain it, but those are too easy to understand.

  5. Nancy says:

    I’m not a huge fan of his, but that is one love story. To see a face across a room and wham bam you just know. I think they are a lovely couple and remember when Levi made the scene….thought he was the cutest little boy, almost as cute as my son, lol. This couple reminds me of a Joanne Woodward/Paul Newman….forever love if, in fact, that truly exists.

    • Locke Lamora says:

      I don’t believe in such love stories. How convenient that all these famous men feel an never before felt spark with supermodels only.

      • Nancy says:

        I am a romantic at heart and would love to believe true love exists. Of course, you will always find others attractive. Going back to Newman in old Hollywood, he said why go out for hamburger when you have steak at home. Okay, three comments is enough, I believe this is a happy couple, but am hardly their spokesperson!

      • Locke Lamora says:

        I do think love exists, but these stories about how he saw her across the room and knew she was the one are bullshit. He thought she was hot, that’s all there is to it. Love comes later.

        I’m not romantic at all. Can you tell? :D

      • eleri says:

        @locke lamora: lol. team reality for the win

      • Lambda says:

        I’m gonna sound corny, but maybe it’s different layers of memory that make that meeting moment special. Maybe it was a “kinda” different moment to begin with, but because they created a life together, that makes it even more special.

      • teacakes says:

        to be fair, Vanessa Paradis was no supermodel, she was considered quite unconventional-looking in her day, really. Hugh Jackman isn’t married to a supermodel either, and he’s been with his wife for years.

    • Erinn says:

      I tend to think it’s a case of immediate attraction – and sure, I think it can be an attraction that’s different than they’ve felt before. But when it all boils down, I just don’t believe in love at first sight as a literal thing.

      I remember seeing my husband in school for the first time (we’ve been together since we were teens) and thinking ‘he looks like he’d be really nice’. There was something about him that was ‘comfortable’ I suppose. Just seemed like a genuinely nice guy. I didn’t immediately think ‘oh man he’s sooooo cute’ or anything like that. Just a general niceness about him.

      And I mean – I was right. And we’ve been inseparable since that year, and I’ve never forgotten just kind of scoping out all the new kids in my class and trying to get a feel for what they’d be like, and never once thinking he’d be anything but a good person. And honestly, he’s one of the most genuinely good people I know. But until I started hanging out with him I hadn’t even considered him as someone to date.

      • gyrlbye says:

        This made me smile. It is exactly how I described my husband when we reconnected after college. We new of each other, we’re never friends, but I remember my girlfriends and I describing him as someone you would marry. Cut to 5 years later, saw him at a reunion party and gave him the biggest hug, like we were friends…ever! I just remember turning around seeing him and saying out loud “there he is”. He was just this guy I remembered as nice…and I was so comfortable with him immediately.

        I like Matthews story, ever woman should be so lucky to have there spouse tell such a kind story about them…even if they remember it differently, the his version is still very sweet.

      • I Choose Me says:

        Lovely anecdote Erinn. I’ve been with my s.o. since I was eighteen. Remember thinking he had the loveliest most soulful eyes.

        How’s the treatment going?

    • isabelle says:

      Saw some interview/reality TV moment with both of them and he was looking at her like a love-struck teenager and this was after they had kids.

    • Dinah says:

      Joanne Woodward has an Oscar and is very much a star in her own right. Of the two, she was considered the more gifted thespian. Newman was rare in admitting that because he had left his first wife and their chldren, naturally his life with Joanne was never what some people dreamt it was. When his son Scott overdosed, Newman blamed himself for failing his only son. He said that his second marriage was bittersweet at best, which was gracious that he admitted its truth. Joanne, in her early days, was a local beauty queen and, from what a former school mate told me, was about the snobbiest, elitist girl you could have imagined. I’ve always believed the rumor she became an alcoholic and was angered she gave up nearly everything for Newman and Newman, being the Hollywood leading man, gave up what seemed to be so little for her other than his first family, which no doubt left him a broken man with a compromised conscience. A love story, true, but one tainted by shadows of sorrow.

  6. Lex says:

    I always think of way back when TRL was on MTV and one of the VJs admitted he called Matthew, Matt, and Matthew was PISSED.

    • MoochieMom says:

      My husband is a Russell and “Russ” is not a good thing. Several vendors have lost contracts over that. Only 3 people I know call him that and they have known him since like 5th grade.

    • Locke Lamora says:

      I don’t get what the big deal is. What a stupid thing to get pissy about.

      • Cynthia says:

        I totally get it. I hate, I repeat hate, when people shorten my name and call me cyn instead of Cynthia. I literally, want to slap a bitch.

      • Santia says:

        I have a friend whose name is Samantha, and she will cut a bitch who calls her Sam or Sammy.

      • teacakes says:

        only my closest friends get nickname privileges – my name is two syllables, and I’m not answering to shortened versions from anyone who hasn’t earned the right.

        I imagine Matthew feels the same way about his own two-syllable name .

    • annaloo. says:

      Well, I admit I think names ARE pretty personal – it feels like a little stab of disrespect if someone gets your name wrong. When someone gets it wrong, misspells it, calls you a nickname that is not yours, etc, it can be insulting for some, celeb or not. Imagine is someone was always calling you the wrong name, don’t tell me that you wouldn’t be a little miffed? :-) It’s why people who remember names or use a person’s (correct) name a lot have a positive effect on people, you feel respected and seen.

      And for a media host to get it incorrect– that’s on the host. It’s def part of his job to know and use the correct name, so I am siding with Matthew on this one.

      • crtb says:

        I hate when doctors and parents of the kids that I teach think they can call me by my first name.

      • Dinah says:

        I believe it is polite to ask someone what he or she prefers for you to call him or her. I have a feminine name, but a boyish-sounding nickname from it. I connect the nickname to my abusive family. People who have been abused by their families very often attach to emotional buttons connected to childhood nicknames. Even after telling them and writing them, they still don’t listen. They still abuse me by not listening to me and calling me that forsaken nickname. That’s a good example of why my life is now rid of them. Let them be well some other, distant place.

  7. qwerty says:

    I remember when Mr Depp used to feed us stories like that lmao

    • jinni says:

      Just because they eventually broke up doesn’t mean that he really wasn’t smitten with Vanessa when he first laid eyes on her back. They were together for years, longer than a lot of marriages. Even though it wasn’t forever doesn’t mean that that moment didn’t happen.

  8. minx says:

    I’ve never thought much about him one way or another, but, wow, that story about meeting his wife was beautifully told.

  9. Esmom says:

    I’m not a fan but this seems sweet…but at the same time it feels like a story he likes to tell so it’s probably more than a little embellished. Sometimes I think he’s genuine but other times I think he plays up that hippie-loopy schtick. Like I said, not a fan.

  10. Mia V. says:

    Matthew McCounaughey speaking portuguese is my new porn.

  11. Kiki says:

    I love that story with Mathew McConaughey and Camila Alves. That is so sweet and tender of him. Which is why, I think of ( forgive me for this) Michael Fassbender needs to date someone who is not in the entertainment business. STOP DATING YOUR CO-STARS. I know his girlfriend as some people would say she is so sweet but so is Taylor Swift and look how some people are sick of her.

  12. Mary says:

    I’m not a huge fan of him but it’s seemed pretty clear to me that he’s madly in love with his wife and that they are the real deal. I would be genuinely sad if they didn’t go the distance at this point.

  13. JudyK says:

    He is so dang hot…love them together.

  14. The Original G says:

    I’ve got a similar story with my Original husband. These things can happen and I wish it for everyone.

  15. Apples says:

    So he wouldn’t propose had she not finally out her foot down – that “she handed me an invitation to our wedding” is a bit insulting to the woman he’s supposedly was smitten with.
    Matthew is a fine actor but I always thought he is most likely a d$ck in real life, self-absorbed and self- centered.

    • Dinah says:

      Didn’t they have a kid BEFORE they got married? Reminds me of SNL’s brilliant parody of Mick Jagger being talked down by Keith Richards before Mick married Jerry Hall. Keith kept telling Mick: “Don’t be nervous about the wedding night, mate. Remember, you’ve had ten years together. Remember, you’ve had two children together.” It is hysterically funny anyone could be dumb enough to get cold feet about walking down the aisle but not have the tiniest inkling of terror at the overwhelming commitment that is bringing another human being (solely dependent on YOU for years) into this world truly is.

  16. lem says:

    wait the movie is getting bad reviews b/c it’s too historically accurate and not glamorizing the true events?!? good lord.

    • OriginallyBlue says:

      Right? It makes no sense to me. I just saw the trailer the other night and it looks good. Is there not enough beating and raping of slaves? It’s not brutal enough is probably what they aren’t liking. Smh. Now I want to go see it even more

    • isabelle says:

      I want to see it now for sure. Love history and all for watching a movie that details it versus glamorizes it.

    • I Choose Me says:

      That stuck out to me as well. I appreciate historical accuracy and now it definitely makes me want to give this movie a shot.

  17. Joannie says:

    I never really got off on him until I watched Dallas Buyers Club. He was so amazing in that movie. I think these two are the real deal and she is so beautiful. I think she designed high end purses at one time. They were really nice bags. This is one HW couple I can see being together for life.

  18. susiecue says:

    He kind of looks like an oompa loompa in that last pic. He should just let his hair be graying, dyeing it makes the white in his eyebrows stand out.

  19. nicegirl says:

    Camilla is stunningly beautiful, isn’t she? Just gorgeous.

  20. Beanie says:

    I don’t like how he refers to her as a ‘what’ and not a ‘who’. He chaps my ass a little.

  21. melior says:

    I like him. I studied his Oscar speech with my 8 graders. All right all right all right. Live and let live. Cool!