Matthew McConaughey: Being a Dad Feels Good

03/11/2011 at 11:00 AM ET
Adhemar Sburlati/Broadimage

Forget “gym, tan, laundry,” Matthew McConaughey had his own three-step plan for transitioning from bachelorhood to being a father of two.

“Here’s how it goes,” the actor tells PEOPLE, “Plants, dogs, kids.”

McConaughey, 41, admits he’s still mystified by the effect that his children, Levi, 2½, and Vida, 14 months, and his partner Camila Alves, have had on him.

“It’s kind of hard to explain,” he said at the L.A. premiere of his new movie, The Lincoln Lawyer. “But it feels good. When you have kids then you’ll know what I’m talking about.”

Though says there are no immediate plans to expand his family, he admits that his role as a father has altered not only the way that he perceives himself, but his career choices as well.

“I would say that it’s no coincidence that the last three movies that I’ve done have to do with the way that I’m looking at life,” he says.

— Reagan Alexander

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , News , Parenting

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Showing 28 comments

lbrice on

I love the name Vida. So cool.

Sandra on

And yes, anyone would love to have you as their daddy now, wouldn’t they? LOL.

Emily on

“Here’s how it goes,” the actor tells PEOPLE, “Plants, dogs, kids.”

Hopefully in reverse order of importance? XD

Lisa on

@Emily- I think “plant, dogs, kids” is the order of responsibilities since transitioning from bachelor to father.

Shaye on

@Emily, He meant that he worked his way up from taking care of plants to taking care of kids. Like first he was responsible enough for a plant, so he got a dog, once he was responsible enough to take of the dog he was then responsible enough to take care of a kid. 🙂

Sarah B on

Emily – pretty sure he means get plants first.. if you take care of them, then get a dog. If you can handle the dog, then maybe you can handle kids…

Shannon on

Matthew is funny. I love his one liners. He and Camila make a gorgeous couple.

truehurt on

Whatever! I wouldn’t brag about my kids.

Katherine Ross’s daughter tried to killed her and she use to brag about her daughter.

Ally on

So because someone brags about their children, that means that the children will try to kill their parents??

Mrs. D. on

Matthew and Camila are a gorgeous couple. I hope they stay happy together.

MJ on

Ok, It’s nice and all Matthew, but you didn’t create the wheel.

LPW on

I love this couple. So gorgeous!

Kelly on

Some people will just have negative comments no matter what…here is a perfectly nice article, about someone who is enjoying being a dad- why would that inspire you to make a snarky comment? They seem like a very nice couple.

Sonia on

Cute couple. Hope they stay together long enough to raise the kids. So sad to see so many couples breaking up and the kids are the ones who suffer the most.

lanam on

i love matthew – and he really is doing well as a father and being a family man….but i always loved him before/after having his beautiful children…he seems so at ease w/being a father…I wish him, his partner and children all the best…Just how gorgeous are those children, but geesh look at their mom and dad– they are so perfectly stunning..

gotta confess- i always wanted matthew and sandra to reconnect, bc they were a great looking couple as well…but things work out for a reason..i love my sandy and she has her beautiful baby boy (from New Orleans, my home town)…i hope she finds a great man to love one day bc she deserves it so much 🙂

lil hercules on

First of all I LOVE people magazine they are not the traditional gossip mag. Sec, I am so sick and tired of seeing people being so gosh darn cold hearted, snotty, bitchy, stubborn, and clueless writing comments on here. If you folllow PEOPLE then you should love any article they post, if u dont why are you on here in the first place??? IDC who comments towards my comments but I am just sick and tired of seeing so much hate on here; obv the haters are just jealous of the lives these people live and obv they are unhappy with themselves but if ur going to hate, vent to someone in ur inner circle, there is enough debbie downers in this world and these people dont ask for the attention. Get a life Get a clue be yourself and be thankful for what you have in life…..

suzy diamond on

How about his role as a husband to a woman who has had TWO of his kids! How about responsibility and commitment. Sorry, I don’t buy it! MAKE the commitment!

Olivia on

he sounds like he really enjoys being a dad.. they make cute couple with Camila.

sarah on

I was always a big fan of his, but I was at the premiere and he was kind of a dick to his fans. People waited for hours to see him, and he just walked by and barely even looked at them (and it wasn’t because he was in a hurry). His fans actually booed him because of it. Disappointing to say the least. Ryan Phillippe, on the other hand, was very nice and took the time to say hello to fans and sign autographs, as did some of the other actors.

Firmino on

“Vida” means “life” in portuguese

CelebBabyLover on

truehurt- It’s perfectly normal for parents to brag about their kids. 🙂

MiB on

@Truehurt, does that mean I have to go and kill my parents and step parents? Beacuse they sometimes brag about me. Thank goodness my grandparents are no longer alive, or I’d have to kill them too!

Linda on

He is so annoying…What is so appealing about him that he needs to be in People??

Barb on

Lil Hercules, well said! Too much hate in the world, and it’s only getting worse unfortunately.

Matthew and Camila make a wonderful couple and have been blessed with two beautiful children. Nice to see a man who appreciates what he has.

CelebBabyLover on

suzy diamond- Maybe Camila doesn’t want to get married either! It could be a mutual decison for all we know. I hate it when people assume that, when a couple isn’t married, it’s because the guy is refusing to commit!

CelebBabyLover on

I also meant to say that marriage is not a guarantee that a couple will stay together, especially in Hollywood. Just as Christina Aguleira and Jordan Brateman or Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz (to name just two recent examples)!

CelebBabyLover on

*ask, not as

Linda on

Watching Dazed and Confused at the theatres when it first came out and said that guy is going to be Movie Star. Happy for all your success Matthew. You have a lovely family.