Matthew McConaughey had a "bit of a scare" when he had a close encounter with a venomous snake.

The Dallas Buyers Club star spent a year living in Australia as an exchange student and admitted he'll always have a fondness for the deadly eastern brown snake because one didn't bite him, even when he came close to stepping on it.

"The brown snake," he said on Australian TV show Today. "When I was here I almost stepped on one. I should have been bitten.

"I was going back in the back shed down in a friend's house in Warnervale and I stepped on something, it was a bit dark. It went right through my legs and gave me bit of a scare. Then my friend came over and they caught it and said, 'That's a brown snake mate, that could have really sucked'.

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"That's my favourite animal, 'cause it didn't bite me."

The 50-year-old actor admitted he only ended up living in Australia because he wasn't sure what to do with his life.

"Like most young men and women who graduate high school, you are not sure what you want to do.

"My mum decided, 'Go and be an exchange student.' It was between Sweden and Australia. Australia spoke English. I was here two weeks later, on the outskirts of Sydney."

McConaughey, who has three children with wife Camila Alves, is incredibly happy with his life now.

Asked where he'd like to be in a decade, he said: "Right now, I'd say I want more of what I've got going. I'm happy, I'm healthy, I'm happy, my family is healthy. My wife doesn't want to change me too much. Kids seem to like me...[they] listen to me pretty much most of the time."

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