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Kicking back with friends, including buddy Lance Armstrong, and making margaritas at their table, Mc Conaughey, 46, says he all but stopped dead in his tracks. ’ As l was trying to get that’s attention across the room, I went in my head, ‘This is not the kind of woman you call over across the room, Mc Conaughey.

“The self-respect she had, the way I understood her and her relationship with family, the way she respected me but never took anything for granted, not putting on any airs whatsoever,” he says.

“We went on our first date three nights later and I knew then I’ve been wanting to go on a date with her for the last nine years and not with anybody else.” Watch Mc Conaughey’s full Jess Cagle Interview above.

Matthew Mc Conaughey not only lost 45lb for his role in new film Dallas Buyers Club, which looks set to win him an Oscar, but he also had to lose his reputation.

He admits he was known as the wild one, living the Hollywood high life with a succession of famous girlfriends and an enjoyment of partying.

It exploded in spectacular fashion when he was arrested at his home in the early hours after disturbing neighbours by dancing naked and playing the bongos.

After a night in police cells he emerged to say in typical defiant fashion: “I don’t want to rent a place but it was nice for a night.”Fifteen years later Mc Conaughey, 44, sees this as a turning point. I needed to make changes in my life, the way I was living and the movies I was doing.”Mc Conaughey’s on-screen hits were an extension of his easy manner and humour.

Although there was no immediate change in his behaviour the incident seemed to sum up his life and career. He had established his name – and bank balance – in hit romantic comedies such as The Wedding Planner, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days and Failure To Launch.

So he stepped back from the lightweight films he was being offered.

He also stopped womanising and began to think more seriously about his future.

“I could see my 40th birthday looming,” he says.“I was an older bachelor than many of my friends.

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