Matthew Mcconaughey keeps his late father's ''spirit alive'' by talking to him.

The 50-year-old actor explained his Just Keep Livin' mantra stemmed from the way he responded to his dad's death and made it his outlook on life as he's found there's nothing that can't be made ''better'' by the slogan, which is also the name of his foundation.

Asked about the phrase, he said: ''In 1992, I was five days into shooting 'Dazed and Confused' and I got a phone call that my father had passed on.

''I drove to Houston to be with my family. I was with them for five days, and they told me to get back to work.

''The first night back, I was walking around and it hit me that my father was no longer here, but I could still keep his spirit alive if I talked aloud to him.

''So, 28 years later, I've been unable to find anything that isn't better if you take that mantra and slap it on it. There are choices in life; there's a way to make the 'just keep livin'' decision with every decision we make.''

The 'Wolf of Wall Street' star - who has children Levi, 11, Vida, 10, and Livingston, seven, with wife Camila Alves - always wanted to help high school students because he felt it was the final opportunity to stop them straying down the wrong path.

Speaking to Town & Country Magazine's annual Philanthropy Issue, he said: ''I always knew I wanted it to be kids, because I wanted the entire foundation to provide prevention before we needed a cure.

''High school's the last place you can catch somebody and get them on the right track, before they no longer have to listen to a teacher or parent.

''If they're screwing up in high school and do some of the same stuff after they graduate, they may go to jail--or worse.''

And the programme focuses on physicality because Matthew believes that has far-reaching consequences.

He explained: Being active is incredibly important--physically, mentally, and spiritually. There's science behind how exercise and nutrition can help your mental acuity, and how that helps kids in our age group. Their grades go up, behaviour gets better, it's a stress reliever.''