Pop Culture

McConaughey thrilled about girlfriend, pregnancy

Getting a big-money shot of Matthew McConaughey without a shirt may not be as easy as it once was for the ubiquitous Hollywood paparazzi.

That’s because the buff 38-year-old actor who was once named People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” is soon to be wearing a baby over his shoulder.

McConaughey, making the rounds to promote his new film, “Fool’s Gold,” says he is anxiously awaiting the arrival of his first child, and is just as eager to show him or her the world he has seen.

“Well, that child is probably going to fill his passport pretty quickly,” McConaughey told TODAY co-host Meredith Vieira on Tuesday. “Culture and travel’s been the best education I’ve had in my life and my child’s going to have that, hopefully.”

Camila Alves, McConaughey’s girlfriend of nearly two years, is due in the late spring. McConaughey proudly announced his future bundle of joy on his Web site last month, writing that “we are stoked and wowed by this miracle of creation and this gift from God.”

McConaughey also is lauding the mother of his child as a gift, but so far the “M” word hasn’t been uttered publicly.

Brazilian beautyMcConaughey met Alves, a 5-foot-11 model and budding actress from Brazil, at a restaurant in Los Angeles two years ago.

“It’s the first woman that I’ve met that I haven’t met through friends,” McConaughey said. “That doesn’t really happen too often. I saw her across the room and I couldn’t get my eyes off of her.

“So I invited her over and started making a margarita and then I noticed right away that this was not the kind of girl you just want to wave over. So I got my butt out of the chair, went over there and introduced myself and said, ‘You can come over and bring any of your friends you want to back to our table.’ And that’s what kind of got her to come over in the first place.”

McConaughey said they spoke Portuguese and Spanish for the first 25 minutes of their conversation before he asked her out.

“And I haven’t wanted to ask anyone else out for the last two years,” he said.

Life and times
McConaughey was born in Uvalde, Texas, on Nov. 4, 1969, and was named “Most Handsome” at Longview High School. He parlayed his good looks into an acting career, appearing in television commercials and student films in his native state before getting a breakthrough in 1993’s “Dazed and Confused.”

After small parts in “Angels in the Outfield” and “Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation,” McConaughey became a household name by playing lawyer Jake Brigance in 1996’s “A Time to Kill,” based on John Grisham’s famed novel of the same name.

Leading roles followed in films like “Contact,” “Amistad,” “U-571, “Sahara,” “The Wedding Planner,” “We Are Marshall” and “Failure to Launch.”

But McConaughey has also received almost equal notoriety for his off-camera exploits, his relationships with different actresses and oft-photographed friendship with cyclist Lance Armstrong.

In 2005, he was named People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive.” In the last few years, he also has garnered attention for residing in an RV trailer — with Alves in tow.

McConaughey told Vieira that fatherhood wouldn’t necessarily change his nomadic lifestyle.

“I do have a trailer,” he said. “So I can pull it up to any backyard on any coast I want to.

“I worked hard to get a lifestyle and live in a place where I don’t have to wear a shirt or shoes. I’m going to keep working on it so I can put myself on a beach somewhere on the planet. Yeah, I enjoy the sunshine and I enjoy the summertime.”

Chemistry with Kate
In “Fool’s Gold,” McConaughey reteams with “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” co-star Kate Hudson. The chiseled couple chase down a treasure that only he believes exists.

McConaughey said he and Hudson “surprise each other a lot,” and that’s the key to their on-screen chemistry.

“People have asked us, ‘What is it that makes it work between you two?’” he said. “And we don’t really know how to explain it, but there is a push-pull sort of ebb-and-flow of constantly courting, but never quite courted. We can also hit each other below the belt and recover from it.”

McConaughey said audiences will be able to relate to his character, Ben “Finn” Finnegan.

“If you’ve ever been somebody running down a dream, and if you imagine something can be true, well, then it must be true,” he said. “And so he’s got to get the gold and keep the girl.”

McConaughey is producing another comedy entitled “Surfer Dude” and is also set to begin a new film called “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” with Jennifer Garner.

“Then it’s on to the greatest picture,” he said. “My child.”