Matthew Kay McConaughey mom family childhood

Families go through rough patches, even those families that appear to have it all together. Christian actor Matthew McConaughey writes candidly about his childhood and family in his new book “Greenlights”. In a recent interview, Matthew McConaughey talked more in depth about his eight year estrangement from his mom and how they worked to overcome that.

McConaughey is a true family man, so this might prove shocking to some people. His rise to fame was a strain on his relationship with his mother. But, not in the way some people would assume.

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Matthew McConaughey’s Rise To Fame

Kay McConaughey had a hard time dealing with her son’s rising star. He was in demand and she was excited about it.

Too excited and eager, in fact.

When McConaughey would tell his mom about his life, it would suddenly end up in the tabloids.

Together with his mom, the duo shared their story of heartbreak, estrangement, and reunion on Red Table Talk with Jada Pinkett Smith.


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“As soon as I got ‘famous’ after ‘A Time to Kill,’ I started to have my weekly Sunday call home to call my mother,” McConaughey told hosts Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield Norris.

But, he continued, “Mother wasn’t answering the phone. A fan of my fame was answering the phone.”

McConaughey, who writes candidly about the pair’s estrangement in his new memoir, “Greenlights,” said he felt betrayed when Kay began leaking news about his life to the media.

“I was trying to find my own balance with fame and stuff. And I would share things with her … some of those things I would share might show up in the six o’clock news three days later,” he recalled.

The “Dallas Buyers Club” star said the final straw came when he learned Kay had invited a camera crew for the tabloid news program “Hard Copy” into the family’s home.

“I call her up and, of course, she’s watching it too, so she picks up the phone, and I hear the same damn show in the background!” he said, adding that Kay told him, “I didn’t think you’d find out.”

Kay Violated Her Son’s Trust

Ouch! That’s a real violation of trust!

Kay admitted she was enjoying his fame more than Matthew was.

Sadly, this led to eight years of the actor not sharing important life details with his mom. 

It took the better part of a decade to repair the trust. When McConaughey’s career was on stable ground, he didn’t need to be concerned with her sharing his business to the media. 

“My boat was built well enough where I didn’t feel like she could sink it,” McConaughey said on Red Table. “I just took the reins off, and said, ‘Mom, hit that red carpet, talk to all of ’em, and tell them all the stories you want. And she’s been great about it ever since.”

That rough spot is now in their rearview mirror.

Kay McConaughey has been staying with Matthew and his wife Camila during the pandemic. She’s been getting plenty of family time with them and her grandchildren. 


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With a lot of perseverance, time, and faith families can find a way to heal. This honest McConaughey family interview can been watched in the video below. 

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