Matthew McConaughey Wanted to Be a Father at 8 Years Old: 'That's What Success Is' 

"It was when I was eight years old is when it hit me," McConaughey said in a new interview with Tim McGraw. "I wanted to be a father"

Matthew McConaughey knew he wanted children from a very early age.

The Oscar-winning actor, 51, sat down with Tim McGraw on the singer's radio show Beyond The Influence Radio with Tim McGraw on Apple Music Country on Wednesday where he spoke about fatherhood.

"For me, it was the motivation to continue, but hopefully be able to maybe evolve and improve it. It was when I was eight years old is when it hit me. I wanted to be a father," McConaughey said. "I remember what it was. My dad was a 'sirs,' and 'ma'ams' and 'please' and 'thank you' man, and he would introduce me to his friends."

He continued, "I'm eight years old looking up to them and shaking their hands saying, 'Nice to meet you, sir. Nice to meet you, sir. Nice to meet you, sir.' At that moment, I had already shaken many of his friends hands through years, but at that moment in my eight year old mind, what went through my mind is, 'Oh, the common denominator about all these men that I'm saying 'sir' to is that they're fathers. That's why they're a 'sir.'"

Livingston Alves McConaughey, Camila Alves, Levi Alves McConaughey, honoree Matthew McConaughey, Vida Alves McConaughey, and Kay McConaughey
Rick Kern/WireImage

"I remember in my eight year old mind going, 'That's when you've made it. That's when you become a sir. That's what success is,'"he added. "It hit me then, and it's never left me as the paramount example of what being a sir or being the greatest success you can be as a man."

McConaughey shares three kids with his wife, Camila Alves McConaughey: sons Levi, 12, and Livingston, 8, and daughter Vida, 11.

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In December, Vida joined her famous dad during an interview for the Why Not Now? Podcast with Amy Jo Martin where the preteen dished on the one lesson her dad has to learn over and over.

"Trusting, I guess, when you correct us," Vida said. "A lot of times you'll correct us and then you'll come back and you explain why you corrected us. But usually, we're just like…"

Matthew McConaughey
Mark Sagliocco/WireImage

"'We got it the first time,'" McConaughey finished for her with a hearty laugh, to which Vida replied, "Yeah."

In October, the Dallas Buyers Club star told PEOPLE his kids had "doubled down on their hobbies, creative things and parts of themselves I didn't think they would have leaned into if they were back in school" during the COVID-19 lockdown.

"One of the assets of this COVID quarantine is they've been forced to be more self-reliant," he said. "They've been forced to create their way out of their boredom."

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