One Hollywood star who won't trash his trailer
Can life get any sweeter for the ultimate laid-back sex bomb Matthew McConaughey? Ellie Genower tries to find out
Published 04/04/2008 | 00:00
He's just finished filming with good friend Kate Hudson, his Brazilian model girlfriend is expecting his first child and he has found which way of life suits him best - a trailer.
Matthew McConaughey is a movie star with a bit of a twist. Not for him a big flashy mansion, a fleet of pricey cars and a private jet. In fact, this particular film star actually resides in a trailer.
"It sounds like I'm a travelling wandering vagabond, but I like that way of living because I know exactly where my stuff is and it's how I like it," he says, stretching back on his chair. "I love being mobile. There's not enough square footage to have too many options or choices to get lost."
There are even unwritten trailer rules which Matthew reckons protects him from celebrity stalkers.
"There's a code of trailer living. You don't just show up to someone's trailer," he explains. "As I was told very early in life; if you want to meet people, open the door to your car, if you don't, shut your door. You don't just come up and go, 'Hi, what's up?'
"That's why people like trailers: they like to travel and they like the privacy. And you don't break that code.
"Let me tell you, it is fine living," he adds enthusiastically. "I have an awesome mattress; I wake up to an ocean view; I have a 17-inch TV; I'm online; I have a satellite on top; I have exactly what I want. I like to create a world where I'm secured and structured. There's a certain amount of structure that I have to have with my career."
An expectant father — his Brazilian model girlfriend Camilla Alves is pregnant with their first child — Matthew is even planning to introduce his new baby to the joys of trailer living too. "The child will definitely spend some nights in the trailer," he says, his eyes lighting up. "Even if the child doesn't grow up in a trailer, he or she's going to have culture and travel. The benefit of trailer living is that you get to travel."
Clearly, Matthew is certainly looking forward to being a dad for the first time.
"I feel blessed," he says. "It was a surprise but not a shock. It's the greatest feeling in the world; one to conceive and two to parent. The big adventure in my life is coming. There's an African proverb, 'Architecture is a verb' and the best architecture will be having a child growing up and having a long, good and healthy life. I'm really excited."
In the meantime, Matthew has a movie career to get on with. This month we'll see him appear alongside Kate Hudson in Fool's Gold, a comic caper in which he plays laid-back treasure hunter Ben Finnegan. Filming in Australia, he and Kate who "dig each other, love each other, can't stand each other", found themselves at the mercy of the elements.
"It was wild," he says. "I like to say the place had a lot of 'bite' in the air, water and on land. It was quite the adventure, living actually on set. It wasn't like we lived in the jungle then went to the studio, or lived in a hotel and came down to shoot in the water; we lived where we worked; the segue from behind the camera to the front of the camera was pretty natural. It was right in the middle of everything so we were at the mercy of Mother Nature most of the time."
Having to film some of the movie underwater meant that Matthew and co found themselves face to face with some of the scarier creatures of the deep.
"A couple of people got stung — we had to move locations twice because of jellyfish that were putting people in hospital," he says. "We swam with sharks but they were well-fed which was good for us. Kate had poisonous spiders in her place and I had pythons in my house."
But ocean nasties weren't the last of the challenges he had to deal with on set. Some of the bigger tasks to test his mettle were scuba diving scenes and tricky air stunts.
"There was one where I was hanging on a plane and I wanted to be strapped in but I wasn't able to because I'd be dangling and skidding across water," Matthew explains. "I got to do the coolest stunts and at 7.30 in the morning I made sure I had one more cup of coffee before I took off. I was in my own amusement park. I got so much better from the first day until we finished shooting.
"With the underwater scuba-diving, you can't speak, so you communicate using sign language," he continues. "You don't really have a floor you can stand on and as vision isn't far, you lose the senses you rely on. So if you lose your mask you know someone's going to be there, and you learn how to relax your body and breathe."
Luckily, he's a man who admits he likes to be 'in touch' with nature, which is just as well considering the sometimes harsh Australian climate. "I don't like to be too insulated from the elements. I'm comfortable with nature. I mean I don't like snakes in my room — I'm not looking for that — I like a good camp out and it constantly felt like that."
However, he bristles slightly when it's suggested he may have a clause in his contract to not wear a shirt during movies as he's been bare-chested in quite a few of his films.
"Of course not," he says indignantly. "Look at my character. I'd look pretty funny as a diver wearing a V-neck sweater!"
A Texan native with a reputation for being laid-back and mellow, Matthew clearly enjoyed filming in Australia, admitting he saw interesting parallels between life Down Under and his home state.
"They love to play hard," he says of the Australians. "It's a no-frills culture and talking about land and Mother Nature — they have this attitude which seems laid-back but they've done their homework. They're very knowledgeable about their environment because if you're not there can be problems.
"There are things out there that are so poisonous you won't just get hurt, you'll die, so they have a real respect for the land. I like that a lot because it's very similar to Texas; it's the same rugged landscape and we're forced to know it, in the same way."
Name: Matthew David McConaughey
Significant other: His partner Brazilian model Camilla Alves
Career high: Winning MTV's best breakthrough performance award for A Time To Kill in 1997
Career low: Losing out to Leonardo DiCaprio for the lead role in Titanic
Famous for: His eye candy roles in flicks like Sahara and The Wedding Planner
Words of wisdom: "I never went in search of fame. It came and bit me in the butt."