The Hollywood star is proud of his Irish heritage
Matthew McConaughey has stated that he wants to see his children learn to speak Irish as a reflection of his heritage.
The star of Interstellar and Dallas Buyers Club traces his roots back to both Cavan and Monaghan through his mother's side of the family, and also spent time in the country which he described as "paradise to me."
Speaking to the Irish Sun on Sunday, McConaughey said that when he was filming Reign of Fire in Dublin in 2001, he made plenty of friends and lasting connections in Ireland, and the welcome of the local people was one that made a lasting impression on him.
"I walked those streets, walked into tiny pubs with giant welcomes and warm hearts. That 'f*** it, pull up a stool, tell me your story, I’ll tell you mine', attitude, I loved it.
"That was paradise to me. I was coming home. I made fast friends, I sang, I danced. Heard stories and tales and jokes and anecdotes I’ll remember for a lifetime. I was back with my people."
Image: Matthew McConaughey, right, and his wife Camila Alves, with children, from left, Livingston Alves McConaughey, Levi Alves McConaughey, and Vida Alves McConaughey attend the ceremony honoring Matthew McConaughey with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday, Nov 17, 2014, in Los Angeles (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Speaking about his Irish heritage, he said that he wants to make sure that his children are aware of their roots, and that he would love them to learn to speak Irish, even if he can't.
"My kids are really privileged to call themselves Brazilian Irish," explained McConaughey. "Irish Brazilian, how great is that? Connected to two of the most vibrant, colourful, exciting cultures on the planet. Both very different yet with so many similarities. It’s beautiful. It’s a gift."
He admitted that his wife, Camila Alves, has stole a march on him "with the music, the food, she’s got them speaking Portuguese, a lot of which I don’t understand. They’re talking about me, plotting against me."
However, McConaughey believes that it's not too late to get them speaking Irish, reading the literature and learning about the culture of the country of his family:
"When they’re older, I want to send them to that Irish language summer camp you guys do, it’s like a rite of passage for you guys, isn’t it? When you’re teenagers. I want them fluent — which means I gotta do a crash course too."