PLAYBOY: You are good friends with Lance Armstrong. Could you take him in a wrestling match?
McCONAUGHEY: I think I would take him.
PLAYBOY: Why did you two connect so strongly?
McCONAUGHEY: Talk about a man of action. No one gets from point A to point B quicker or more deliberately with his head up than Lance. He doesn't go, "Maybe we should...." I don't even know if he ever says "maybe." Just "What do you want to do?" Boom, we're on our way. He gets so much stuff done, and he's a positive, honest dude. He'll tell you straight up if he doesn't like something. He's a hell of a lot of fun. We both live public lives, and we relate on that level. His house is mine; my house is his. Having a buddy to play sports and exercise with is cool.
PLAYBOY: Have you beaten him in any sport?
McCONAUGHEY: Ask him about our soccer games. I've held him scoreless.
PLAYBOY: One on one?
McCONAUGHEY: Usually. And he doesn't like to lose, which I remind him of. We're both bleeding when we come off the soccer field.
PLAYBOY: Have you ridden bikes with him?
McCONAUGHEY: Yeah, and if we do that or if we go for a run, I'm looking at his back pretty quickly. But he knows I'll always finish. I bet I can surf better than him, though.
PLAYBOY: You are a big fan of the Ultimate Fighting Championship circuit. Explain the appeal.
McCONAUGHEY: It's a great sport—man on man, no weapons, you and me. Let's go. I'm not going to pull your nuts off or poke an eye out. I'm not going to bite you. Mano a mano with what God gave us. Is it bloody? Sure. But it's actually one of the healthiest rituals for exorcising a lot of the violence and rage we have inside. America is the only place without rituals. Other countries have big rituals to burn out the devil. America, what's our ritual? CSI: Miami? Video games?
PLAYBOY: What was the last fight you got into?
McCONAUGHEY: In a bar down on Robertson Boulevard in Los Angeles. Five guys jumped my buddy—pounced on him. I flew in there and took one out. Got in another swing. Next thing I knew I was pulled back. One of the guys had me in a choke hold; another was on top of me. Luckily, the bouncers came in and cleared it out. But I got one good shot in.
PLAYBOY: Have you ever been challenged because of your fame or looks?
McCONAUGHEY: Yeah. Like maybe I appealed to their girlfriend. I've had that before. But most of it is goofy stuff. One guy came up to me and said, "My wife is in love with you, man," and offered her to me. I was incredulous.
PLAYBOY: How did you respond to the offer?
McCONAUGHEY: I pulled him aside and said, "Listen, man, you got to have a little more self-respect. Maybe the two of you need to take a trip together. This is not cool."
PLAYBOY: Did you notice women looking at you differently after you began doing romantic comedies? For that matter, has fame made meeting girls much easier?
McCONAUGHEY: I don't think there's a difference. I always liked girls. In school I guess they thought I was cute and funny. They still do.
PLAYBOY: How old were you when you lost your virginity?
PLAYBOY: Was it a long relationship or a one-nighter?
McCONAUGHEY: None of your business. I don't tell bedroom tales. Never have.
PLAYBOY: Since those days has it become harder to trust women? Do you worry they're interested in you only because you're famous?
McCONAUGHEY: No one wants to be anybody's fool, but I have good intuition, man. I'm good at reading people. You can tell in their eyes. I'm out here in the land of the pros, so you check them out; you watch them, look between the lines.
PLAYBOY: You starred in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. What's the quickest way for a woman to lose you?
McCONAUGHEY: By trying to change me. I work hard to be who I am. I ain't perfect, but I'm a good man. I don't leave crumbs.
McCONAUGHEY: Crumbs. I don't owe anybody a dollar. I haven't burned bridges. I can go anywhere and not have to look over my shoulder. So try to change me too much and I'll just say, "Shhh, nope."
PLAYBOY: You've dated several co-stars, including Sandra Bullock, Ashley Judd and Penélope Cruz. What about movie sets is so conducive to hooking up?
McCONAUGHEY: A movie set is a circus, an immediate family from day one, and it's your world for five months. There's a lot of time to get close to people. I've run into people I've respected, found attractive, been turned on by. And they were turned on by me. Relationships form.
PLAYBOY: So that's one of the perks of the job, an endless supply of women?
McCONAUGHEY: Hey, watch out. I'm not a big romancer. I'm no womanizer. I'm not a player.
McCONAUGHEY: I'm not going to steal a dude's girl. You got something going and it's working, man, I'm all for it. I've been in enough relationships to know how hard they are. I think there should be a better sense of fraternity among men, especially if someone is married.
PLAYBOY: What if a married woman propositioned you?
McCONAUGHEY: Are you kidding me? "Get your ass home. And what are you doing wearing that out?" That's never been my style since I started liking girls.
PLAYBOY: What's the most aggressive come-on you've encountered from a woman?
McCONAUGHEY: I had a woman barge into my trailer, grab a T-shirt and say, "Oh my God, I've got your T-shirt." I had to help her out of the trailer and tell her, "Don't you ever come onto a man's property like that again." Wackiest part was, once I got outside she had her three kids there.
PLAYBOY: George Clooney has made it clear he doesn't want a wife or kids. How about you?
McCONAUGHEY: I believe I'll have a family. I want children. The older I get, the more I look forward to being a dad, having some little McConaugheys running around.