Matthew McConaughey credits Jay Leno for teaching him patience
Matthew McConaughey’s “all right, all right, all right” demeanor can be chalked up to Jay Leno.
The Oscar-winning actor recalled a simple conversation with Leno decades ago, when he was a rising star, which still affects him today.
McConaughey remembered feeling nervous before going live on Leno’s talk show, only for the late-night pro to offer encouraging words of wisdom, he told TODAY.com.
“He comes into the greenroom and goes, ‘You nervous?’ I go, ‘Yeah,’” McConaughey said. “He goes, ‘It’s easy.’ You ready for the recipe on how to handle this?’”
McConaughey remembered Leno’s advice was easy to understand – “Just want to be here.”
The “Dazed and Confused” star kept the statement close to his heart throughout the years.
“I remind myself of that all the time, ‘Wherever you are, just want to be here.’ If you want to be where you are, you’re kind of like, ‘Well great.’ It makes it easy,” McConaughey said.
Feeling nervous is now a sign everything is actually OK for McConaughey.
“If I don’t have those butterflies, then I get concerned. ‘Maybe I’m being complacent, maybe I’m being arrogant, maybe I’m trying to oversee the situation like, ‘I’m above this. I got this.’ Then I won’t be present,” he said.
Staying present is important for McConaughey and is a quality he tries to instill in his three children, so much so that he only recently allowed his 15-year-old son Levi to join social media.
He told Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hagar that he, along with wife Camila Alves, made the decision for Levi to be more public with his life after years of conversations.
“Let’s talk about what it is. Let’s talk about the upfalls,” he said. “Let’s talk about the downfalls. Let’s talk about the assets. Let’s talk about the traps.”
He added, “Let’s talk about what you wanna tell. What’s your story? Because what happens a lot of times with young people and social media is they wake up in the morning and the first thing on their mind is, ‘What will be a good post?’ Instead of, ‘What do I want to do today.’”
McConaughey said they are “still taking baby steps” into the world of social media.
He hoped his new book, “Just Because” could offer insight for children while also giving guidance to adults.
After a conversation with his daughter about whether she had to play sports at a professional level, he assured his 13-year-old that volleyball was just supposed to be fun right now.
“Try things out. Forgive yourself, forgive others. You could mess up today and make it right tomorrow,” McConaughey said.