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Why Matthew McConaughey is happy to have made a movie his kids can watch

The movie star and dad of three opens up to TODAY about the importance of being a father and connecting with his kids through new animated movie "Sing 2."
/ Source: TODAY

Matthew McConaughey may be a huge Hollywood star, but nothing will replace his role as a dad.

The Oscar winner, who reprises his role as Buster Moon in "Sing 2" this holiday season, shares three kids with wife Camila Alves, including sons Levi, 13, and Livingston, 8, and daughter Vida, 11. He was considering running for governor of Texas, but told TODAY that he decided his focus needs to be on his family.

“Right now, the most important thing on my plate is fatherhood,” he told Hoda Kotb Wednesday on TODAY. “I’ve got three children, 13, 11, 8. You have children, you start thinking more about the future than I did before. My family is No. 1 for me right now.”

Vida McConaughey, Camila Alves and Matthew McConaughey, Livingston McConaughey, Levi McConaughey
From left: Vida McConaughey, Camila Alves, Matthew McConaughey, Livingston McConaughey and Levi McConaughey attend the premiere of "Sing 2" at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021.Alex J. Berliner / AP

The "Dallas Buyers Club" star says he plans to continue playing to his strengths, which he feels is as an artist at this point in his life.

“I want to keep telling stories,” he said. “That’s a part of the reason why my category of leadership going forward I think needs to stay in the storytelling realm.”

One of those stories is the highly anticipated “Sing 2,” a sequel to the original 2016 hit. McConaughey got to combine his love of entertaining with fatherhood, thanks to daughter Vida. She appears in the movie as a piglet who’s the daughter of Reese Witherspoon’s character, Rosita.

“She has a scene where she is scuba diving for chocolate and gets to say, ‘This is the best day of my life, Daddy,’ and she meant it,” McConaughey said.

McConaughey has a long and varied filmography, but he says working on projects like the “Sing” franchise holds a special place in his heart because it's family-friendly, unlike much of his other work. During a conversation with Sunday TODAY's Willie Geist, the actor said it's been a pleasure to work on movies his children can actually watch and enjoy.

"I was kind of getting tired of me getting asked, and my kids getting asked, 'What's your favorite movie that your dad's done? And they go, 'We don't know, we haven't seen any,'" said McConaughey, laughing, in this week's Sunday Sitdown. "And I'm like, 'I haven't really made many they can see.' What am I gonna do, sit them down in front of 'True Detective,' or maybe 'Dallas Buyers Club?' I'm gonna have a lot more questions than answers, right?"

McConaughey said that he believes in the values promoted by "Sing 2," including its emphasis on "good family joy."

"It's unfiltered joy, which, at this time, after the last two years and the time we're in right now, it's good news in the time of a lot of bad news," McConaughey said. "The show says 'Hey, keep dreaming personally. Believe in it. Your own dream, it's out there.'"