The actor and his girlfriend take month-old Levi to a John Mellencamp show, he says in an interview

By Mike Fleeman
Updated August 07, 2008 10:00 PM

Matthew McConaughey and girlfriend Camila Alves aren’t going to let a little thing like a newborn slow them down.

“We took Levi to a John Mellencamp concert,” the actor, who welcomed his first son on July 7, tells CNN’s House Call with Dr. Sanjay Gupta for a show airing in two parts, Aug. 9 and Aug. 16.

McConaughey, 38, says he and Alves, 25, take Levi everywhere so he’s “equipped to be around the sights and sounds of people” – which also makes life better for the new parents.

“Everyone talked about how, oh, you have a kid, life changes, it’s like 180 degrees on a dime full stop, wow,” he says. “And a lot of them had an insinuation under that like, you have to stop living your life as you live it. That hasn’t been the case.”

Keeping Levi on the move “takes a little more prep time to do whatever it is you’re going to do,” McConaughey says. “And especially with Camila breastfeeding every three hours, she can’t be away from the child. So she’s got to be there.”

McConaughey says the birth took a long time but “it went down perfectly.”

“Even though we went 60 hours to do what could have been done in a few hours, it was a great journey for both of us and her and I now have gone through something that – we call it the best dance we’ve ever had,” he says. “We’ve gone through something that we’re like, I know and you know and only you and I know and that’s good for us.”

McConaughy says they also stored the umbilical cord (and its vital stem cells) and kept the placenta, which they plan to bury in an orchard, following an Australian aboriginal custom he discovered during a visit there.

“They had a placenta tree that was on the river, and it was for the women, and it was the most fertile land and fertile river,” he says. “And all the placentas of all that tribe, all that clan … went under that one tree, and it was this huge behemoth of just health and strength. And this tree was just growing taller and stronger above the rest of Mother Nature around it. It was gorgeous.”

Reporting by JULIE JORDAN