The 43-year-old actor plays a Southern fugitive living on a Mississippi island awaiting his true love in Jeff Nichols' new film and in order to get a feel for his character and make the portrayal accurate, he spent some alone time on a deserted island in Arkansas.
He told the New York Post newspaper: "The only neighbours were a few snakes and two donkeys. It was pretty cool."
Matthew was so determined to embrace the great outdoors that Jeff and the film crew had to drag him away after several days.
Jeff added: "I think he stayed two or three nights, [then] we had to go get him."
Matthew stars alongside Reese Witherspoon in the movie and his kids - Levi, four, Vida, three, and three-month-old Livingston -
and her three children bonded while they camped on the banks of the Mississippi River.
The Hollywood hunk - who is married to Camila Alves - recalled: "It was like a nature vacation camping out on the Mississippi River. And we enjoyed it. The kids learned a lot about nature actually on this film. They loved it.
"I loved being out there in nature like that. The stage was the Mississippi river. To live there while a while, to camp out there, you quickly get the rhythm and the sense of smell and taste and humidity and weight, and how time trickles along like that river. It's four miles per hour. It just slowly moves and it's an unstoppable force."