Matthew McConaughey on his mom hazing Camila: ‘there are rites of passage’

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Last month, Camila Alves did a podcast interview in which she shared a story about how her husband Matthew McConaughey’s mom, Kay McCabe aka Ma Mac, “tested” her when she first started dating MM. These tests included things like calling her by Matthew’s ex-girlfriends names and speaking to her in broken Spanish, even though her native language is Portuguese. A lot of people did not find Ma Mac’s strategy to be funny at all and called it out as abusive. I don’t know if this is damage control or not, but during an interview with ET Canada, MM confirmed Ma Mac’s bad behavior but tried to justify it as a “rite of passage” within his family. Umm…

While speaking to ET Canada’s Cheryl Hickey in a new interview, McConaughey admitted it’s true, explaining: “My family is big on rites of passage and initiation, and you don’t get into the McConaughey family easily.”

“We test you. And even in our own family with my brothers and mother is one of us. Me and my brothers get on our high horse about something,” he continued. “Oh, my family, we humbly wait, we make you cry, and then we pick you up and make your favourite drink, ‘You’re welcome back.’ So there are initiations, rites of passage that my family’s always enjoyed.”

The “Interstellar” star, 53, then explained how his wife eventually broke through with “Ma Mac.”

“Camila goes, ‘I’m not asking your permission anymore.’ And basically, my mom was like, ‘There we go. That’s right,’” he recalled their conversation.

Turning the table, McConaughey is unsure whether he and Alves will use the same “testing” strategy with their own kids.

“We’ll see. We’re just coming on the beginning of this stuff. You know what I mean? Talk to me in about three years, and I’ll have a better answer for,” he said of his kids’ future dating lives. “…Navigating is not going to be perfect, but I think we’ll work it out.”

[From ET Canada]

OMG, no. There is no reason to “test” someone by making them cry then making them a drink. That’s not an initiation or rite of passage. That’s being cruel. Call me old fashioned, but you should be able to tell if someone will fit in with your family by getting to know them. Some families tease each other, but it should never be mean-spirited. Does this mean that MM agrees with Ma Mac calling Camila by his ex-girlfriends’ names and everything else she put his wife through? He should have told his mother to stop. I really hope Matthew and Camila do not use this same testing strategy with their kids. Break the cycle of abuse now. Start your own, positive family traditions and rites of passages. Your kids will thank you for it.

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Photos credit: Backgrid, and Getty

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54 Responses to “Matthew McConaughey on his mom hazing Camila: ‘there are rites of passage’”

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  1. KBeth says:

    He’s gross.

    • GrnieWnie says:

      Yeah, I’m not a fan. This is a type: the “I’m not a Conservative” conservative who is more socially liberal but sees themselves as adhering to traditional ideas about, idk, myths in the Bible or some other such Jordan Peterson blather. It’s all so vapid but to them, Peterson’s thoughts are so PROFOUND and ILLUMINATING. They don’t present themselves as centrists but that’s how they conceive of themselves because they’re purportedly “neither left nor right” (but spend a lot of time ingesting Joe Rogan podcasts and the like). I’m so tired of this type. You’re all dumb and have nothing of value to impart, go away.

    • BlueNailsBetty says:

      Same. He’s yet another poser who thinks he and his bio family are so important that people have to be “worthy” of receiving their blessing.

      Also, he pretends to be liberalish but deep down he’s a Republican. He does the whole “both sides” bullshit and acts like criticism of Republicans is unfair.

      I loathe him. I hope someday Camila wakes up and realizes she can do better than him and his a-hole family.

    • snappyfish says:

      well said, succinct & spot on. I hope she realizes he will never take her side over his mother. What a sad situation in which to be raising children. I think I mentioned this before but a friend’s MIL was the head librarian at UT-Austin. She recently retired & I asked about MM. She was diplomatic but basically called him a tool. The actor playing professor & full of himself.

    • NotSoSocialB says:

      So is his mom.

    • NotTheOne says:

      Photo assumption: Camila still thinks MM is gross.

  2. Danbury says:

    MM’s mom sounds like a horrible person. Didn’t her cut her off for a long time? Should have kept her cut off

    • BlueNailsBetty says:

      Yep. He cut her off because she was running her mouth to the media but he won’t protect his wife from her. He’s a hypocrite.

      • Anna says:

        Exactly. She was a b*** to Camilla, and he let her. He wants us to believe he is so liberal and supportive to his wife but let’s wonder what would happen if Camilla wanted to have a career and expected him to cover parenting and household tasks 50%…

  3. What a lovely family (not). Hazing a new family member? I would have run the other way. This is a sick family.

    • SeemaLikely says:

      Yep. Generational dysfunction.

    • Kirsten says:

      In his memoir there is some discussion of his parents’ relationship and it’s outright abusive. His family though has essentially convinced him that it’s romantic, which is so troubling. I have to imagine that he can at least sort of see that and just has been unable to get away from them.

    • Eleonor says:

      Whoever “test you” is toxic.
      Either you welcome someone either not.

    • Lorelei says:

      Honestly…those first two paragraphs were painful to read. If this is MM’s idea of “damage control,” it backfired spectacularly because these comments only make him look so much worse— the clueless arrogance just oozes out of this man.

      It sounds like he and his brothers think it’s totally cool and normal that their household seems to be run like a fcking frat house during rush week. What a gross environment to grow up in — your mother constantly torturing anyone you bring home by “testing” them. Jesus Christ

  4. girl_ninja says:

    He’s just making an exused for racist mama. What a horrible woman. This is the same shit that Meghan went through with the royals but Matthew probably talked Camila into thinking that his is just the way they love in his family. Gross. Just gross.

    • whatever says:

      THIS. Exactly. I don’t believe for a second they have any kind of “hazing”tradition in their family. This is just him trying to tie a pretty bow on the fact that they’re just all unrepentant a-holes.

      • Nieve says:

        Agreed. there is no excuse for being an old C*w. If you follow Camilla on instagram shes always being lovely and doing MM’s Mum’s hair and nails and generally being sweet. Plus how thick are you to confuse Brazil & portuguese with the rest of SA.

        My mum made my boyfriend cake when i first brought him home. There is a correct way to do things.

  5. SarahCS says:

    This is NOT a family you want to be a part of. How full of yourselves do you have to be to think that people need to ‘earn’ admittance to your family and how messed up do you have to be to think that being frankly abusive is the way to do it?

  6. Lala11_7 says:

    I’m at the point that I can’t stomach ONE second of MM & all I feel is pity for his Wife for choosing to stay in a situation where her Husband was co-signing on his Mama’s deplorable ways…for ALL for their kids to see…Because I checked TF out my future MIL & Husband…TOGETHER REAL HARD on day ONE…she NEVA stepped out of pocket with me again…and had a reputation in her family for being A REAL 🤬…I matched & upped that energy & we were COOL AF after that…didn’t trust her…but she did NOT disrespect me again🙃

  7. Andy Dufresne says:

    This is so toxic! I’ve had my fair share of in-law experiences such as this one that reading and hearing this story is quite triggering for me. This is not normal in any family dynamics- why is this being treated so lightly?

    And Matthew is just justifying his mom’s behaviour. But Camila seems smart and is just picking her battles with Matthew and his toxic family. Radical acceptance is the way to go unfortunately.

  8. Amy Bee says:

    So Matthew supported what his mother was doing to his wife?

  9. This really fires me up! How dare they? NO ONE has the right to make the new girlfriend/boyfriend/partner feel less than, nor is it appropriate to conduct any form of “hazing”. Camila is one strong woman. It strikes a nerve for me because my MIL and BIL were unbelievably awful to me when I started dating their son/brother, and one time when I burst into tears they said that I “just can’t take a joke”. No. Just no. It’s cruel.

  10. FancyPants says:

    Wasn’t this a plot device in his how to lose a guy movie? It’s toxic and he’s very lucky she didn’t leave him.

  11. Mayfair says:

    Not only this is cruel and unnecessary, but it speaks volumes about their self-image: who the hell they think they are?!

  12. Grant says:

    I’m sorry but who TF is your family that you think you’re justified in mistreating another person in order to *checks notes* initiate them into the fold…? This is so stupid and his mom is garbage.

  13. Tila says:

    Being introduced to a tight knit family is daunting enough but this really was abusive. My in-laws like to take the piss but it’s never ever mean spirited. You can see if someone is going to fit in with the family by you know, getting to know them. The mother is vile and MM isn’t much better for trying to justify her behaviour.

  14. Miranda says:

    It’s infuriating just how normalized this sort of behavior is, and how early it can start. For example, my SIL and her husband just found out a couple weeks ago that the baby they’re expecting is a girl. Poor kid isn’t even born yet, and my BIL was already talking about being the type of dad to give any boy that dates his daughter a hard time. (Ironically, when he began dating my SIL, he was welcomed into their family immediately, and was even allowed to move in so he could finish high school in their town after his dad accepted a transfer to another part of the state.)

  15. Steph says:

    He’s defending “we use racism as a rite of passage. It’s normal.”

    I’ve never liked this a-hole and Camilla is f-ing idiot for choosing them for her family.

    • Nievie says:

      she was only like 23 when they first go together and had kids with him super young- its hard to get out of situations like that..he’s quite a bit older than her and pretty smart at getting his way.

  16. Ameerah M says:

    That’s literal psychological and emotional abuse. And the fact that he was okay with his mother doing this speaks VOLUMES about the dynamic in that relationship and in that family. Camila should have run for the hills. Red flags EVERYWHERE.

  17. Barbara says:

    That’s so wrong and he’s a jerk for saying it. I had a terrible mother-in-law who made snide comments about and to me for 12 years. It crushed me and made me doubt myself. His mother should be ashamed of the way she acted and he should have his behind kicked for defending her.

  18. Southern Fried says:

    A shit family. Matt defending his shit mom? I don’t feel sorry for Camila, she knew who she was marrying and what she was marrying into. I feel bad for their kids.

    • B says:

      Before we say we don’t feel sorry for Camilla, we can consider that her childhood family dynamics may have been similar, and she may not have experienced the psychological growth necessary to have a fuller perspective until after she married and had a child.

  19. Miss Melissa says:

    He was a Delt at UT.

    Don’t let the pot smoking or bongo drums fool you, he’s a conservative Frat Rat good ole boy like the rest of his frat bros and the establishment loving generations before them.

  20. Wendy says:

    Sounds a lot like my extended family, who I have avoided spending any time with for nearly 30 years (with the exception of my parent’s short illness and death 5 years ago, during which contact with these jackholes could not be dodged entirely). Insular, exclusionary, vicious, and exceedingly boring.

  21. Meh says:

    Yes, Matthew. There are indeed rites of passage. Divorce. Divorce is a rite of passage.

  22. Mel says:

    Of course he’d say that instead of admitting that his Mom is an AH. I hope she doesn’t have a pre-nup……

    • Debbie says:

      He was famous and rich by the time they married, so I’m sure he does have a prenup. And if he didn’t think of it, I’m sure Ma thought of it and put a word in his ear. She seems like the type of person who would be very involved in their children’s lives, especially when they’re rich and famous. There was one photo of Matthew, his wife and his parents shown, and the mother made sure she was the center female featured in that picture when the natural thing would have been to have him and his wife featured. Instead, Camilla was on the side. Sometimes (not all the time but sometimes) these little things are an indicator of the family dynamics.

      Also, just my opinion but I somehow don’t think that Mathew McConaughey will “haze” his children’s fiancés in the same way because since he’s famous they could just run to the tabloids if he pi$$es them off for no reason.

  23. Twin Falls says:

    Holy toxic family dynamics and to brag on the dysfunction like it’s a #goal is insane. He has no idea he’s describing emotional abuse.

    • NotTheOne says:

      It’s a “survival of the fittest” mentality. Only the strong are allowed into the family. I feel sorry for their kids.

  24. Elle says:

    While he is implying that his Mom needs to be talked back to, he doesn’t identify this as a problem and doubles down on it with how him and his siblings interact. I know families are complex because I had my fair share of this type of thing go on with my in-laws, but you always remember how people made you feel coming into it. Even if things get smoothed over to keep the peace, it’s in the back of your mind.

  25. Lizzie Bathory says:

    I’m going to hug my sweet, wonderful mother-in-law extra tight the next time I see her. My in-laws have only ever been kind. Even my family–who absolutely have their foibles–have always welcomed partners with open arms.

    This just sounds awful.

  26. Remy says:

    Every interview I read of him, makes me like him less and less. And I barely liked him to begin with.

  27. Bumblebee says:

    This family dynamic is toxic and Camila’s acceptance of her MIL’s abuse just breaks my heart. This woman obviously says whatever she wants to people in her family and they just take it. I hope they really listen to what the public is saying and see this situation for what it is.

  28. bk says:

    Blech. Down with racist patriarchy and everyone who bends to slot themselves into it.

  29. bk says:

    and sorry, but what’s so great about ma mac and her family anyway…

  30. Louisa says:

    So this was him doing damage control to make the previous story sound better??! Because oh boy this is toxic BS. As has been said already who the hell is this family to think they are anything special? There is nothing funny about this at all.
    I’ve always hated him and just never been able to pinpoint why exactly. Just a general vibe. But now I know exactly why.

  31. paintergal says:

    He’s sounds exactly like the dick I thought he might be.

  32. bisynaptic says:


  33. jferber says:

    Camilla is a saint and far too good for that ratchet family, husband included.