Matthew McConaughey is very close with his mother, Kay. So much so that she moved into his house that he shares with his wife Camila Alves, and his three kids Levi, Vida, and Livingston.
But there was a short period of time where he wasn’t so close with his now 91-year-old mother.
For about eight years, from 1996 to 2004, Matthew was not openly talking with his mother like he once did before.
In 2020, both Matthew and Kay appeared on Red Table Talk, hosted by Jada Pinkett Smith and her mother and daughter, where they talked about that period of estrangement.
“As soon as I got ‘famous’ after [1996’s] A Time to Kill, I started to have my weekly Sunday call home to call my mother,” Matthew explained.
However, Kay had become starstruck by her own son and Matthew felt she had begun valuing his fame over himself, saying, “Mother wasn’t answering the phone. A fan of my fame was answering the phone.”
“I was trying to find my own balance with fame and stuff,” he shared, detailing the types of conversations he and his mother would have over the phone. “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.”
But his fame got the best of Kay, as she appeared on a segment of the tabloid-type TV show Hard Copy, showing cameramen Matthew’s childhood bedroom and telling private stories without her son’s permission.
Rightfully so, Matthew was not happy.
“I call her up and of course, she’s watching it too and I hear the same damn show in the background,” he revealed. “She goes, ‘I didn’t think you’d find out.’”
As a result, Matthew’s relationship with his mother and his trust in her was hindered, and he decided that he couldn’t “talk to her as my mom” anymore, something that would last for the next eight years.
“There were years there where I would not share things with her because I was also finding my own balance,” the Interstellar star admitted. “I was like, ‘Look, mom, loose lips will sink ships. There are a lot of people that would like to know these things and it’s none of their business.’”
Come 2004, the relationship had “healed up”, with Matthew saying his career was strong enough at that point, adding to his nautical expression, “My boat was built well enough where I didn’t feel like she could sink it.”
Kay went on to confess that, in hindsight, she did perhaps enjoy his fame a little too much, something she tried relating to the Red Table Talk co-host Adrienne Banfield-Norris, who’s daughter in Jada Pinkett Smith.
“You know, aren’t we proud?” she asked Adrienne.
“We are proud but we also don’t understand that it’s such hard work for them and also being in the spotlight all the time,” she replied. “I have to agree with you, Kay, that I enjoyed [Jada’s] spotlight.”
All of that is in the past, though, as Kay and Matthew now live together while also having an extra special relationship with her daughter-in-law, Matthew’s wife Camila Alves, who frequents her social media pages with content of her spending time with Kay.
Kay is also using her new residency as more time to spend with her grandchildren.
“I’m enjoying so much being around my grandchildren. I’m very comfortable with them,” she said in the same episode of Red Table Talk. “Matthew is a very good son. I tell him that all the time. He’s good to me.”
Matthew McConaughey and His Mother Kay Open Up About Their 8-Year Estrangement (people.com)
Matthew McConaughey Celebrates Mom’s 90th Birthday (people.com)