Though Matthew McConaughey is now happily married with three kids, he didn’t think his wife, Camila Alves, was going to say “yes” when he first proposed. In fact, he reveals that she seemed quite hesitant when he got down on one knee.
“I remember her face. I remember this smile coming up from her feet. I remember her having to catch her breath. And she didn’t say yes right away. And then the whole family was going, Jeezus,she’s gonna say no,” the Academy Award winner, who graces the cover of Esquire‘s November issue, tells the publication.
He adds that though he knew Alves was the one for the longest time, he was afraid to get married given his own parents’ volatile marriage. McConaughey muses, “What is it more than a signed document? What is it more than a formality? I gotta believe in this thing.”
After four years of wedded bliss, McConaughey is happier than ever. Having met Alves at a nightclub and inviting her over to his booth for margaritas in 2006, the actor credits the Brazilian model for turning his life around. According to him, Alves was 100 percent behind his decision to ditch romantic comedies in favor or gritty dramas — a move that ultimately won him an Oscar for his role as man with AIDS in The Dallas Buyers Club.
“A good woman gives a man courage and confidence—the courage to have the confidence to go and do it, to not be worried as much or consider as much what the rest of the world thinks,” he explains, adding that he’s grateful that Alves is the mother of his children. “Man is never more masculine than after the birth of his first child. I don’t mean in a macho way. I mean in terms of giving a man strength.”