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Family man Matthew McConaughey opens up on his ‘epic’ kids and finding serenity

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Family man Matthew McConaughey opens up on his ‘epic’ kids and finding serenity

Family man Matthew McConaughey opens up on his ‘epic’ kids and finding serenity

Taking a break from life with his beautiful wife Camilla Alves, and his three children, Matthew McConaughey sits down with us to talk acting, life, and what it really means to catch that big tuna.

Academy Award-winning actor, Matthew McConaughey, stuns audiences once again in Steven Knight’s thriller, Serenity. Starring alongside fellow Academy Award winner and nominee, Anne Hathaway and Diane Lane, McConaughey plays a fisherman with a dark past. 

What is the serenity in your life?

For some sense of satisfaction, mental and spiritual health, having something to look forward to. When I don’t have something to look forward to, something to get out of bed for in the morning, the next decision is usually not a good one.

Do you think that’s the key to happiness?

As much as I’ve traveled and as many people and cultures as I’ve gotten to know, that seems to be the one common denominator. I’m not going to say common denominator for happiness, because it’s too big of a word to define. You have to work to create things to look forward to, but I think everyone in some form has earned the right to have something to look forward to.

In this film you basically cliff dive naked. Was that scary?

Yeah, I was scared. It’s part of the buzz that I enjoy.

Were you actually naked?

I’m not completely nude, I have on a body-coloured thong. (laughs) So I’m covered.

That must have looked sexy?

(Laughs). They’re kinda funny lookin’.

In this film you were out to catch this big tuna. What’s your big tuna?

What is my “big tuna?” I’d say for me, my biggest one is family. That’s the main one that no matter what I’m doing… Spielberg said it best when he said, “We go make movies, but our kids, that’s our epic.”

Did you catch a real tuna?

I actually caught a 206-pound tuna. As much as the islanders may have been impressed that I was there, they didn’t care about me being in the movies after I caught that fish. The fact that I caught that fish, I was all of a sudden, a big man on that island (laughs). They were very superstitious because it wasn’t the season and word spread all across the island that this light-skinned man from America named Matthew caught this big tuna. And everyone came out to see and we fed the village.

How do you approach the process of acting with your costars?

I take care of my own business and then I’m confident enough that I’m ready to do what I need to do. I may go about it in different ways, depending on who it is that I’m working with and what their style of work is. I’m fine with any way that someone works like that, as long as the work is about the scene.

Cast members Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway attend a photocall for the film “Serenity”, in Marina del Rey, California, U.S., January 11, 2019. Photo Credit: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

What’s your biggest pet peeve on set?

I don’t have a lot of patience for someone who’s not prepared. Showing up on the days to work and do a scene is not the time to go, “So what’s this scene about?” Those are questions that we, as actors, need to have answered for ourselves well before we show up to shoot. All of an actor’s hard work is before production. So when we get to production, we can play. Now we can hopefully find some magic, come across a happy accident, or do the job that we planned on doing.

Do you cook fish well?

I cook fish decently because I eat a lot of fish.

How would you sum up this movie in one sentence?

One of the things that Steven (Knight) was working to get across was that, even in death, love can still exist.

Would you want to work with more women directors?

I don’t measure, “Oh, what’s the sex of the director, and do I want to work with them because they’re that sex?” That wouldn’t be something that really entered my mind. I do want to work with somebody who understands the humanities and understands the feminine and male sides. And depending on what character type. I think, are they going to be open to me turning them onto something that maybe they didn’t see in the character? That’s what I’m looking for. It’s also nice to be working with someone that has similar sense of humour.

What new skills besides fishing do you learn on this film?

First of all, let’s have a giggle at me putting that on my resume as far as some of my skills. “Knows how to successfully jump off high cliffs naked,” (laughs) ‘cause it’s a good one on the resume. It’s still funny.

It is definitely a skill. What other skills would you like to learn as an actor?

Music, God, I’d like to play piano. I’d like to play as good as my son. He’s a lot better than I am and he’s ten. But he was better than I am when he was four. He’s got a real talent for it. But that’s something I highly admire and would love to be forced into knowing how to do it, learn how to do it via a job. And go, “Okay, you’ve got six months Do it.”

Have you ever had to learn something for a movie you just couldn’t get right?

Yeah, you know what it was? I’ll tell you exactly. There’s a scene in Ghost of Girlfriends Past where my character is supposed to come down the stairs, and it was written that he slides on the banister all the way down and off. I couldn’t do it. And the director, Mark Waters goes, “What about the slide down the banister?” And I’m like, “Man, I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” I go, “I have so much fear about falling off that way.” And I go, “My bad. I should have let you know that, ‘cause I tried it, I practiced it with a harness, and then it was like, I didn’t do it.” I’m not good at sliding down a bannister.

What do you look for in a role?

I enjoy playing that loner character. This was also exciting for me because I felt so alive in every scene. Meaning, at every turn. I’m looking for roles that I can feel alive in each scene. It doesn’t always happen, but for this one…usually, when it’s written really well, it helps to feel that way. Because the character has more identity and if you have identity, then you can have some judgment and discernment.

How do you feel about the roles you get?

I think every role that I do, somehow, is a gift. Some of them, I seek. Some of them find me.

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