Matthew McConaughey’s mom would deliberately call his GFs the wrong names

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Matthew McConaughey has been promoting his memoir, Greenlights, which is number one on the Amazon charts this week. A lot of outlets are reporting on his relationship with his now-wife, Camila Alves, and how they met. He had an interview with Access in which he talked about their early courtship and how won him over, by telling him not to change. He’s talked about that before and I found his description of that touching. I wanted to focus on the part where he talked about his mom testing his girlfriends, particularly Camila. Matthew’s mom would deliberately mispronounce her name but she didn’t reserve this for Camila, she would call all of his girlfriends, and his brothers’ girlfriends by the wrong names. This sounds so sh-tty.

My mom is very very persistent about initiating any woman into any of her son’s lives. She did it with Camila too. She would she would do it by mispronouncing her name by calling her by calling her by different names at certain times just to test her. You’d call her on it. ‘Oh I didn’t notice I did that.’

‘Oh yes you noticed.’ She tested Camila. Camila did the great thing that my mom was really looking for. She bucked up to her. They went off on a trip together to Turkey just the two of them for like a week. Boy they got back from that trip and my mom had full respect for Camila and full blessing.

[From Access on YouTube]

Without getting into too many details I had some distinct challenges with my mother-in-law early in my marriage. Once you have grandchildren I think they appreciate you more.

A lot of us know the story about how Matthew’s parents had a volatile relationship and were divorced twice and married three times. Matthew said that Camila’s parents were “married twice divorced three times.” Somehow they escaped that drama in their own relationship. He explained it as “Camila and I chose a nice river with a few rapids for some excitement. We don’t need to capsize.” He has such a poetic way of describing things. I haven’t read his memoir but I’m interested in it now.

Here’s the interview. After the part I excerpted Matthew talked a lot about his three kids and their personalities and how they get along. He said, of whether he wanted a fourth child. “For me to want four it’s a lot easier than it is for Camila.” That was really nice to hear! Matthew talked about almost leaving show business when he went through a dry spell. He was cagey when asked if he would go into politics. Here’s that interview, it was fun to watch as I love Kit Hoover.

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photos credit: Backgrid and Getty

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75 Responses to “Matthew McConaughey’s mom would deliberately call his GFs the wrong names”

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  1. Darla says:

    The more he talks about his mother the more it sounds like she’s a huge ahole

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Yeah – certainly looks like it.

    • Lady Baden-Baden says:

      Agreed. It’s not ‘cute’ no matter how he ties to spin it. Awful woman

    • bluemoonhorse says:

      He also revealed this his dad died when having sex with his mother, so this whole relationship on both sides is screwy. So he complains that his mother sold his intimate info to the tabs but turns around and exploits it all in his memoirs?

      Direct quote: “They were, at times, violent,” he told People. “As I say in the book, that is how they communicated.”

      Why didn’t he speak up when his mother mispronounced his girlfriend’s names? Why does he see his parents violence as “communication”? Because he is just as messed up?

      • Chloe says:

        He went no-contact with her for 8 years. I don’t get that he is trying to spin this as cute at all? The excerpt specifically says that she would call his girlfriends by the wrong name, and then “You’d call her on it. ‘Oh I didn’t notice I did that.’” I don’t think he is trying to say violence is normal or a form of communication. I do think he gets to have a perspective on his parents as their child. He really does seem like a nice person. I don’t think you read the article.

      • Esmom says:

        Chloe, Yes, he displays a level of grace that she is incredibly lucky to get from him. I don’t think I could deal with her.

    • MissMarierose says:

      I agree. She sounds exhausting.
      I wonder how he ended up being as laid back as he is.

      • Madelaine says:

        Perhaps his possessive mommy isn’t that exhausting, after all. I find her type of pettiness quite endearing and hilarious. Camila really knew how to stoop to conquer, which is sign of great intelligence. I would never have thought it possible to cajole a woman’s toe into winning her son’s heart.

      • Bread and Circuses says:

        What the heck did that even mean, Madelaine? It sounds vaguely sexist and awful.

        I agree with MissMarierose; his mom sounds like a passive-aggressive jerk. He did well to come out of that upbringing calm and circumspect.

      • Anna says:

        Agreed. She sounds like a complete and total a-hole. And that pic of Camilla clipping old girl’s toenails? Cringe. Disgusting. The Black woman kneeling to serve the white woman. How original. Folks can say what they like but the optics on this are gross. Camille is clearly the one with tremendous grace overlooking heinous individual in order to keep the peace in the home. What a terrible, terrible woman his mother is. And she sounds vicious, too. How about a bit of kindness. I wouldn’t ever allow her around my children. He should have kept that 8 year silence going indefinitely.

      • Madelaine says:

        @Bread and Circuses: Choosing not to be confrontational with one’s stepmother and sparing one’s husband the distress of being torn between the two women of his life is by far a good indicator of Camila’s strategic intelligence: she immediately grasped that responding with frontal attacks on a woman old enough to be her grandmother would have shed a negative light on her, and Matthew seems grateful his then fiancé didn’t resort to the lazy option of antagonizing his mother but instead displayed a low profile and a good amount of docility to better win her mother-in-law over. Isn’t Matthew wealthy enough to afford a pedicure for his mom? Why would his wife take over unless she has an ulterior motive? As for the phrase she stoops to conquer, it originally comes from a play by Oliver Goldsmith and it has since been used to refer to alpha women who pretend to comply in order to better serve their ambitions.
        https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/hillary-clinton-she-stoops-to-conquer-1954092.html

    • minx says:

      She sounds like a real piece of work, all right. I’ve never had a mother-in-law, my husband’s mother died when he was young, and I’ve never missed it.

      • Megan2 says:

        My now ex-mother-in-law showed up to our wedding wearing a full length white lace gown with flowers in her hair.
        It was a casual, outdoor wedding; she looked more bridal than I did.
        It was a whole thing. Sigh… really wish I had walked away from that sooner.

    • Esmom says:

      LMAO. I thought “man, she’s really difficult” but you nailed it. My MIL is difficult in many ways but I’ve managed to escape being a target of it and I have no idea why.

    • Sojaschnitzel says:

      Combine this with the recent post that his mother kept blabbing to the press for years despite his wishes for her to stop, and what you get is a lot of question marks about what is wrong with this woman.

    • NYStateofMind says:

      I just choked on my coffee! LOL!! His mother sounds like a petty bitch. No thanks.

  2. CariBean says:

    She sounds dreadful.

  3. Moptop says:

    I would have just walked away from all that ridiculousness. She almost sounds like she has some kind of personality disorder. I’m not fighting somebody’s mom for her son; she can have him.

    • ChillyWilly says:

      100%! No dude is worth that kind of abuse.

      • Cookie says:

        I think it depends on his reaction. If he just tries to laugh it off, or downplay it, then game over. But it sounds like Matt was also frustrated by his mom’s treatment of his GFs and called her on it. Plus, he did go NC for like 8 years so he clearly doesn’t have a problem standing up to her.

    • Christin says:

      This may explain a lot. Her behavior likely doomed most chances of a long-term relationship, especially if he excused it away or was overly defensive of his ‘poor little widowed mother’.

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      Yep, me too. But I’d probably first try wearing a name tag with large letters, and telling the mom “This is to help with your failing memory.”

      • Christin says:

        Yes – I would have suggested her memory was the problem. Suggesting senility would go over better than trying to prove she’s just a jerk. Then see if her memory suddenly improves!

  4. Isa says:

    His father broke his mother’s finger four times. That’s extraordinarily violent and I just don’t know what to say. Stop glamorizing abuse? That’s not a “volatile” relationship, it’s domestic abuse. It’s criminal.

    • Chaine says:

      It’s like he thinks he is the voiceover in a movie about himself. (Drawls): “Daddy broke Mama’s finger four different times, but she gave him what he deserved in the end.”

    • Giddy says:

      Oh no, no, no. I didn’t know about the broken fingers. What a violent, abusive relationship. He has obviously found that being laid back is his peace after witnessing his parents. Good for him.

  5. ChillyWilly says:

    Wow. His mother sounds very manipulative and like she hates other women. I wouldn’t be going to no Turkey with her, that’s for sure! Camila is lucky she came back alive.

    • Esmom says:

      When he said they traveled to Turkey alone together, my jaw dropped. Camila must have really thought Matthew was worth it. Seems like he was.

  6. LaUnicaAngelina says:

    Greenlights is next on my Audible list! His voice… I’m currently listening to The Meaning of Mariah, which is great. I’m surprised more people aren’t talking about it.

    • Jennifer says:

      I received Greenlights a few days ago and am looking forward to reading it. I watched the snipets with him from Howard Stern recently on youtube and listened to the whole interview on Sirius. He’s one of those people who has a knack for storytelling that I could listen to for hours.

  7. Ada says:

    He‘s somewhat a hero for MAGA ppl. Because they feel he is supporting the 🍊
    This story about his mom and having grown up with domestic violence. I hope he supports causes for victims of domestic violence.

    • bluemoonhorse says:

      Doesn’t sound like he does to me.

      Direct quote: “They were, at times, violent,” he told People. “As I say in the book, that is how they communicated.”

    • Giddy says:

      I don’t know about victims of domestic violence, but he is generous with his time and donations. I live in Austin and I’ve heard of his generosity multiple times.

  8. Dragon Wise says:

    She sounds like a misogynist, and mispronouncing ethnic names on purpose is what racists do. I know she apparently did it to all the women, but as a BIPOC , I would have just assumed she was a nasty racist and our first meeting would have been our last. Poor Camila! Her MIL is vile, and her husband thinks it’s funny! He’s lucky Camila grew up with similar fireworks and apparently knew how to handle his mother, or he’d still be doing this twisted dance with a twisted woman.

    • Noki says:

      Ethnic?I genuinely thought that Camilla was such an English name and its so easy to pronounce so she was just making herseelf look foolish.

      • Cookie says:

        I haven’t read the book, but where does it imply that Matthew found this funny? Sounds like he called his mother on it.

      • raptor says:

        The Spanish pronunciation is more like “Cuh-meal-uh” than “Cuh-mill-uh.”

      • Anna says:

        Well, she’s Brazilian, right? So Portuguese pronunciation. Point is, there is an added and deeply problematic dimension here of the BIPOC DIL being abused by the MIL. At some point, if unchecked, MIL will transfer this to the children. Racist, narcissistic, abusive and if she never dealt with it constructively–other than the expectation of Camilla dealing with it, then the legacy of evil will continue, whether overtly or covertly. Grandmothers can influence their grandchildren in harmful ways.

    • bluemoonhorse says:

      Yep, mother-son dynamic here is twisted and continues to be so. Strange that people don’t see that IMO.

      His mom used passive- aggressive tactics to insult her children and their choices, which her children agreed to play the game. Instead of her grown children saying, “When you’re ready to act like an adult, give me a call. Until then, bye.”

      I have several family members who get away with horrible insulting behavior because everyone shrugs and says, “that’s who they are.” Guess what? When I stopped allowing them to play that with me, they stopped it. Strange that people can adapt and change to their audience.

      • Yup, Me says:

        Is this the first article you’ve read about his mother? It seems you’ve missed the part where he went No Contact with her for almost a decade.

        His mother sounds toxic and terrible. Very Asshole Southern White Woman, which is definitely a thing. So skilled at being gracious when they want to be and so casually mean and toxic otherwise.

        Between the story of her repeatedly telling his business in the media and now this – it almost seems like Matthew is getting his own catharsis by being uncomfortably honest about her.

      • Vote Science says:

        He didn’t talk to her for eight years. You seem to have a deeply personal motivation for all of your comments on here and it’s misguided and unhealthy. You don’t know the history between him and his mother beyond what he has shared, and your assumptions being passed off as facts (including saying he’s a Trump supporter, wtf) can stop.

  9. Lucy says:

    She sounds awful.

  10. Gippy says:

    The MIL sounds exhausting and abusive at times, but it also sounds like she had her own issues through his dad. It sounds like Matthew stood up to his mother at times. Camila sounds like she felt like mom was worth dealing with for him. It sounds like he also supports Camila and I get the impression he and Camila are a team and he’d stand up to his mother for her if needed.

    • Betsy says:

      Yes, it puts into context the fact that he blocked her for 8 years. I thought (just reading the headline) that that was a bit excessive; now I see it was not.

  11. Steph says:

    I came here to say exactly what a few upthread already have. His mom seems like a toxic ahole.

  12. margedebarge says:

    Good god she sounds like a real piece of work. MIL’s are tricky. After my parents split, my paternal grandmother took on after-school childcare duties which meant my mom continued seeing her frequently, with much less interference from my father. She said that just being herself (instead of the Nana-approved woman my father always tried to coach her into being) managed to give these two very different women a much better working relationship. They aren’t close or anything now but they send each other flowers for Mother’s Day. I’m inclined to think my awful stepmom made her look at my mom in a different light.

  13. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Frak her. Anyone dishing out shit like this deserves some nasty karma. I’m surrounded by men here, and I’ve met a lot of girlfriends. I’m sure I’ll meet many more. And when you really fall in love with one, they just might break up and it hurts lol. My middle child broke up with his gf of five years last year. He called me crying wanting to hear my voice, so we cried together. It’s my job to love them, give people in their lives every ounce of respect with a smile on my face and a twinkle in my eye lol. And if I don’t like them for some reason, when we’re alone, I gently probe. Most crazy gf’s hit the road eventually anyway. I don’t have to say a word.

    • MaryContrary says:

      Yes. Jeez-there have been some I wasn’t crazy about, but I’ve always been welcoming. (And yes, there have been some I miss too because they’ve become part of the family.) My late FIL was a lot like this-and all it did was drive a wedge in his relationships with his kids. They could see how manipulative he was-and he lost out.

    • Esmom says:

      Aw, Mabs. I have two college age young men, and your comment brought tears to my eyes. You are a good egg.

    • Giddy says:

      Mabs, it’s hard sometimes isn’t it? I have two absolutely wonderful daughters in law. My third son has yet to settle with one girl. He has seriously dated several girls who I have adored. But he breaks up with them and I miss these lovely and talented young women.

  14. Andrea says:

    His mother sounds like a classic narcissist and not unlike my own MIL. Some women, and quite often mothers of sons, it seems, really need to be the center of attention with the men in their lives and can’t stand it when another woman enters the picture. Add to that her running to the tabloids and sharing personal info about her son…yeah, narcissist all the way. Zero boundaries. Zero respect for others. MM had the right idea going no contact. These people never change.

    • Mouki's wife says:

      My first spouse’s mother was just like this. But more viper like. At one point we were living in a home his parents owned. My ex was abusive. He was mad about something and had me in a headlock because I was trying to walk away. His mom walked in, unannounced as usual, and he let’s me go. Very coolly she asked is she interrupting something? When I blurt out, is this how he was raised to treat people, she gets angry and leaves. Then I was in trouble for insulting her. It was the longest 3 years if my life.

    • A says:

      My personal theory about women like that is that they’re not getting that attention anywhere else. You know those people who have children because, “I want someone who will love me unconditionally?” And then those people also get mad when their kids wind up growing up and not centering their parents for their whole life? I think a lot of women see their children as endless reservoirs to provide whatever emotional support they didn’t get and still don’t get. With women who have sons who do this, I think there is a sense of emotional neglect/barrenness in their marriage, and they try to make up for that with their sons.

      Add to this this inherent sense of ownership that parents feel about their children (which is no surprise, bc children were seen as the actual property of their parents for the longest time), and it’s easy to see why parents feel entitled in that way.

      • Snazzy says:

        Yes! I have this problem with my mother – my therapist calls it Enmeshment – when a parent sees their child as an extension of themselves. This makes them think they have the right to do or say whatever they want, and that your existence is only tied to them. It’s hell, but explains a lot

  15. lucy2 says:

    Can you imagine doing that intentionally? What a b.

  16. Valiantly Varnished says:

    His Mom sounds like a nightmare. The more he talks about her the worse she seems.

  17. candy says:

    If my MIL was that awful to begin with, I wouldn’t go on a trip with her to “seek” her blessing. Seeking approval from toxic people is the wrong way to go. What a nightmare overall.

  18. Winterforever says:

    Mom is as creepy as the dads who clean a gun while being introduced to their daughters boyfriends.

  19. Polaroid pictcha says:

    She’s a heinous b.
    MIL are so weird sometimes. I got along very well with my then-bf’s mother, but the moment we got married (after 6 years of relationship) she became awful. She started by showing up on my wedding day almost dressed like me, then she harassed me during my pregnancy. I was shattered and so confused because I considered her a friend. But then I cut the b off and never looked back.

  20. A says:

    She seems like a bitch to me. And I’m willing to bet what really happened on that vacation was that the first time his mom tried to call her by some other name, Camila gently put her hand around this lady’s shoulders, and politely told her, with a smile, that if she tried that shit again, she’d get clocked so hard she’d be seeing Tweety Bird for the next two weeks.

    Or at least, that’s what I would have said. And I am *notoriously* lax about people mispronouncing my name.

    Jokes aside, (and I want to be *very* clear that I’m not advocating for violence against old women, or one’s shitty, boundary disrespecting in-laws, or insinuating that Matthew McConaughey’s wife actually did something like this), but between this and her blabbing to the tabs about Matthew McConaughey’s personal life, my impression of her is that she’s just a dumbfuck who’d get multiple posts dedicated to her shenanigans on JustNoNarcissists over on Reddit.

  21. Leskat says:

    That’s not only a shitty MIL, that’s a shitty husband/boyfriend for not telling his mom to knock it off immediately. It’s not cute or establishing some sort of respect, it’s shitty behavior that went unchecked. Like it’s all some sort of dick measuring contest to see who “gets” the son?! Barf.
    I have a lovely MIL and reading this story made me appreciate her all the more.

  22. Grant says:

    Echoing what others are saying here–MIL sounds like a real piece of work. MM came out last week and announced that she used to leak stories about him to the press too, which led to a decades-long estrangement between Mother and Son. I hope that she was extraordinarily contrite–especially to Camilla. I follow both MM and Camilla on IG (Camilla is so charming and gorgeous and #hairgoals) and it does appear like the MIL made a mea culpa, because Camilla frequently has MIL on her IG. That’s nice, but still… Yikes.

  23. Karelli says:

    Narcissistic mother. He’s calm and cool with it because he is the golden child. Other sibling was probably the scapegoat. Children of narcissistic parents know what I mean.

  24. Mina_Esq says:

    The idea of testing people is very manipulative and unhealthy.

  25. NYStateofMind says:

    I’d like to hear the story about his parents relationship. Did you guys read that or did he say it in an interview? His parents BOTH sound abusive and toxic. His mother sounds mentally ill. Interesting that he and Camilla have similar backgrounds. That has to be comforting to them on some level.

  26. Fleur says:

    Oh hell no. We would not be going on a two week trip to turkey after that, or any trip.

  27. Laundry says:

    LOL, and is Matthew McConaughey getting his sweet revenge of sorts now by using her cray-crazy behaviour to sell his story?! I don’t think it’s 100% cynical; I think like any family relationship there’s a lot of heartbreak mixed with love in terms of his relationship with his mother. What I sense is acceptance and coming to terms with everything in this memoir maybe? And that she was a major problem for him during much of his adult and showbiz years but he’s made peace with it but is not being all rose-tinted about it?

    Harriet Lerner wrote in one of her books that you always feel an estranged family member’s absence more than their presence. Obviously if they’re serial killers or pedophiles you’d cut them off completely. I think he tried for eight years, didn’t he say, but eventually let her back into his life. She’s probably great to the grandkids.

    • Anna says:

      I wouldn’t be so sure that she’s great with the grandkids. Maybe as babies but old white women racist narcissists show their colors. It just may not be overtly evident until the kids start hating on their own BIPOC characteristics or internalizing it.

  28. elle says:

    I am genuinely confused by this and his framing of it – how is this a “test?” I mean, it’s rude AF behavior, but what is the test?

  29. Marigold says:

    His mother sounds toxic af.