Over the past 25 years, Matthew McConaughey has established himself as one of the biggest names in Hollywood. However, away from his films, the charming Texan is a father to three children. And while he relatively rarely talks about his family, the actor has revealed the moving story behind his son’s name.
McConaughey is among today’s most famous and bankable movie stars. But the Texas-born star’s breakout role came back in 1993, when he starred in cult classic Dazed and Confused. As McConaughey’s career then developed, he bagged roles in a number of rom-coms, firmly cementing his heartthrob status.
And by the end of 2013, McConaughey was one of the world’s most successful actors. Yes, that year was a particularly good one for him. He starred in critically acclaimed movie The Wolf of Wall Street and won a string of gongs, including an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club.
Meanwhile, in 2012, a year prior to his success at the Oscars, McConaughey married his Brazilian-born bride, Camila Alves. The actor had first encountered the model in 2006 at a Los Angeles nightclub, where McConaughey claims that Alves was initially pretty coy towards him.
Somehow, though, after the pair had chatted in the club, McConaughey persuaded Alves to come back to his house. The Brazilian agreed to spend the night in the actor’s guest room but refused all his other advances, mind you, even denying him a goodnight kiss.
Describing what had happened when he awoke the next morning, in 2017 McConaughey told Howard Stern that he’d found Alves “holding court with [his] buddies and… housekeeper, eating breakfast like they’d been buddies for ten years.” He added, “There [was] no walk of shame. She stayed over, and she knows who she is.”
From that moment, McConaughey knew that he wanted Alves to be a part of his life. However, it would take him three attempts to secure a date with her. So in order to seal the deal, he treated the model to a home-cooked meal – a gesture that he claims finally won her heart.
Two years after their fateful meeting, McConaughey and Alves then welcomed their firstborn into the world: a baby boy named Levi. And the couple subsequently added to their brood in 2010 when they welcomed their daughter, Vida. Their third child, another son, this time named Livingston, was born in 2012.
Since becoming a father, McConaughey has spoken fondly of his three kids in interviews. However, in July 2017 the star gave a unique insight into his family when he revealed the poignant inspiration behind his first child’s name.
During an appearance on Good Morning America, McConaughey divulged that his boy Levi had recently turned nine. And as the actor continued to mention his other children, host Matthew Strahan commented, “I love the names, man.”
Responding to Strahan’s compliment, McConaughey explained, “Well, Levi’s got a great source material. Levi’s another name for Matthew in the Bible. And so we had talked about possibly Matthew Jr. if we had a boy.”
However, that moniker hadn’t sat comfortably with the dad-to-be. “I didn’t want him to be Matthew because I thought it would be Matthew Jr,” McConaughey explained. So, he and Alves came up with some alternatives. “Levi was one of six possible boy names,” the actor revealed.
Since at this stage the couple had no idea whether they were having a boy or a girl, they decided to leave picking a name until their baby arrived. Picking up his story there, McConaughey continued, “He’s born; we found out he’s a boy when he’s born; you’re not thinking about the name, right?”
However, shortly after their son’s birth, McConaughey and Alves received a major sign regarding their baby’s future name. “An hour later, the doctor comes up, and they hand you that card that you fill out… ‘Blank was born at 6:22 p.m.,’” McConaughey went on.
For McConaughey, the time of his son’s birth really stood out. “My favorite book of the Bible is Matthew 6:22,” he revealed. And, recounting a verse from his preferred section of the holy book, he explained, “If thy eye be single, thy whole body will be full of light.”
Given the significance of his baby’s arrival time, McConaughey knew that there was only one name suitable for his firstborn. Describing his and Alves’ reaction, the actor said, “We went, ‘It’s Levi.’ So, that’s how he got his name.”
Going on to talk about the origin of his other children’s names, McConaughey revealed that he and Alves had had a much easier time settling upon their daughter’s moniker. “Vida, we always knew we wanted it,” the Dallas Buyers Club star explained.
Meanwhile, the couple’s third child also has an interesting story behind his name. “Livingston got his name because I’ve met a couple of Livingstons in my life, and they were men that if you saw them from 200 yards away just walking, you’d go, ‘That man’s got a great constitution,’” McConaughey explained.
With that in mind, then, McConaughey and Alves believed “Livingston” would make the perfect name for their son. “I’d never heard Livingston as a first name, and I always thought it was really cool, so we said Livingston Alves McConaughey,” the actor disclosed.
So, while celebrity baby names are often headline-grabbing, one star, at least, has put a fair bit of effort into giving his children meaningful monikers. That said, we’re sure that as they grow older, the Alves-McConaughey kids will eventually make their names their own.