Matthew McConaughey recalled his first — very awkward — kiss while passing on words of wisdom to his sons.
“We’ve had the first kiss discussions. And nerves and hosmw you do it. And I’m like, ‘Let me tell you about my first one, man,’” McConaughey, 53, said during the latest episode of the “SmartLess” podcast. “Nature trail. Her name was Amy. I was really excited. And then that old movie where the lip gets caught on the braces? Mine did. And they bled all over. We bumped noses and I didn’t know whether to [go] left or right and I double duked and I flinched, and it was not good, man. And then I got my son laughing and I’m like, ‘Trust me, you don’t have to try and be perfect. Just take your time.’”
McConaughey — who shares sons Levi, 15, and Livingston, 10, and daughter Vida, 13, with wife Camila Alves — explained that he’s currently in the “transition” phase with his kids of “being a father to being a father and a friend.” He noted that the shift in their relationship has helped them be more honest about their feelings.
“As soon as you slip into a bit of the friend … they’re not worried about the consequence, or if I give the wrong answer I’m in trouble,” he explained. “And you’re like, ‘Oh, let me tell you how that was with me.’”
Will Arnett — who hosts “SmartLess” alongside Jason Bateman and Sean Hayes — echoed McConaughey’s sentiments with a story about one of his own children. (Arnett, 53, shares sons Archie, 14, and Abel, 12, with ex-wife Amy Poehler.)
“I had one of the greatest conversations with one of my sons — I won’t say who because I don’t want to embarrass him. We were sitting there and he was on the ground and he had his head in his hands and I go, ‘What’s going on, buddy?’ And he looks up and he goes, ‘I just don’t know where I fit in,’” Arnett recalled. “ And the fact that he was able to be honest with me in that moment? We ended up having this incredible conversation. And I don’t know where it ranked for him in his short life, but in my longer life, it’s one of the greatest conversations I’ve ever had.”
McCounaghey agreed that the “one thing” parents need to “maintain” during their children’s teen years is “access” to their vulnerability.
“To let them be honest and go, ‘I don’t know where I fit in.’ And to pick it out on those spots where it’s not, ‘We’re going to sit down and talk, look me in the eye.’ No, when it’s more informal, like, we’re driving or doing something or taking a walk, you do find out more,” McConaughey said. “But to maintain some access and keep some honesty these years [is what] I’m trying to do.”
McConaughey, who released his children’s book Just Because on September 12, has been known for being open about his parenting techniques over the years. During an April appearance on SiriusXM’s “Let’s Talk Off Camera,” the actor got candid about discussing sex and consent with his sons — giving them the same guidance his own father gave him.
“I remember my dad talking to me, and I shared this with my son, but he said a very, very cool thing,” McConaughey recalled. “He goes, ‘You’re gonna come to a time when you’re gonna have some intimacy with a woman, and if you stop, sometimes after you stop, she may go, OK, well, now let’s go.’ And he goes, ‘Don’t go further. Say, ‘Hey, nuh-uh, if we get back together and it all just flows and goes further, great. But that’s all for now.’”
He continued: “If both people are just flowing, if it’s all green lights, you go as far as it’s comfortable. But if you feel someone, you know, tense up, it’s like, ‘Hey, we don’t have to, we got time.’”