Matthew McConaughey Recalls His Proposal to Camila Alves: “She Didn’t Say Yes Right Away”

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 11: Matthew McConaughey and wife Camila Alves attend the premiere of 'Sing' during the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 11, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by C Flanigan/FilmMagic)

At least she said yes! In a no-holds-barred interview with Esquire published Wednesday, October 12, Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey revealed new details about his 2011 proposal to Camila Alves, beginning with the story of how they first met.

In the summer of 2006—at the height of his singlehood—McConaughey was partying in a club on Sunset Boulevard when he noticed a beautiful woman in a green dress. According to the 46-year-old star, he asked his buddies, “What is that?”

Young McConaughey motioned from across the room for Alves to join him for a margarita, but she simply smiled and walked over to greet her friends. He thought to himself in that moment, “Boy, this isn’t the kind of girl you wave across the f—kin’ room at. Get your ass up and go over there.

Eventually, the two started dating, and their relationship turned serious. On Christmas Day in 2011, McConaughey asked the Brazilian model to be his wife in front of his entire side of the family.

“I remember hitting the knee, looking into her eyes, and…” the Gold star recalled as he trailed off. “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.

Camila Alves and Matthew McConaughey

(Helga Esteb /

Luckily, Alves agreed to marry him, and the two exchanged vows on their Texas property in June 2012. According to McConaughey, his wife grew impatient with his packed schedule, and took planning into her own hands. The model simply presented him with their wedding invitation, and said: “Be there.”

Both sides of the family witnessed the nuptials, along with A-list guests like Reese Witherspoon, Meg Ryan and Woody Harrelson. Settling down was a bit of an extended journey for McConaughey, who credits Dave Haney, the senior pastor at Riverbend Church, for encouraging him to marry.

“What interests me about the Bible is not the burning bushes, but finding the literal road maps to satisfaction, success, health . . . they are all over the Bible,” McConaughey told Esquire. “I spent a good amount of time talking about the sacrament of marriage with Pastor Haney, getting past that fear of, Am I going to lose myself? And seeing it’s not now I’m one and if we marry I’m 50 percent of myself and you’re 50 percent of you. No, it’s one and one, and multiply and become three.”

McConaughey and Alves share three kids, sons Levi and Livingston and daughter Vida.

About the Author

Esther Lee
Esther Lee
Esther is the Senior News Editor at The Knot. A self-proclaimed pop culture enthusiast, she appreciates a good celebrity interview just as much as she adores Nancy Meyers movies. You can find her kicking off her mornings with barre and a green juice, traveling and exploring new cultures, and rapidly scrolling her feed for the latest and greatest news. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @theestherlee.