The Serenity actor was delighted when Camila told him she was ready to start a family with him. Picture: Reuters

Matthew McConaughey thinks there is no "greater" thing in life than fatherhood.

The 49-year-old actor - who has children Levi, 10, Vida, nine, and Livingston, six, with wife Camila Alves - has admitted the only ambition he ever had was to raise a family of his own because there is nothing better that he could do.

He said to Red magazine: "The only thing I've ever known I've wanted to be, since I was eight years old, 100 percent knew it, clear, natural law, was to be a dad.

"I always knew I wanted to be a dad. I've always revered that as the greatest thing a man can do, be a father.

"It's the greatest privilege and the greatest responsibility."

The Serenity actor was delighted when Camila told him she was ready to start a family with him - but she insisted that the family would all always join him wherever he had to work.

He added: "Early on, Camila said she'd love to have kids but there was one deal, 'You go, we go', which is a dream for me.

"So if I'm working, that's part of my deal. I come with the family, so ... They're always with me at work."

The family moved from Malibu back to the Gold star's native Austin, Texas, nine years ago to be closer to his mother Kay - and he loves getting to see her more often, even though she's politely refused his offers to move in with him.

He said: "To be near her was part of the reason we moved back to Texas.

"She comes to our house each weekend.

"When we lived in LA, we'd only see her two or three times a year.

"We actually invited her to live with us and she was like, 'No, not yet'. She has little rituals, she has her Pilates, she knows what she likes to eat, has her friends."