Matthew McConaughey weighed in on what he thought about his mother, Mary Kathleen McCabe, putting Camila Alves through the ringer when they first started dating.
“My family is big on rites of passage and initiation, and you don’t get into the McConaughey family easily,” McConaughey, 53, said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight Canada published on Thursday, September 21. “We test you. And even in our own family with my brothers, and mother is one of us.”
While McConaughey noted that he and his brothers would sometimes get on their “high horses” over the years, they would all still come together despite razzing one another.
“Oh, my family, we humbly wait, we make you cry, and then we pick you up and make your favorite drink, ‘You’re welcome back,’” he recalled. “So there are initiations, rites of passage that my family’s always enjoyed.”
In August, Alves, 41, opened up about how she and McCabe didn’t see eye to eye when she and McConaughey first started dating. She revealed the matriarch would even refer to Alves by the names of McConaughey’s former flames.
“She did all these things when I first came in the picture, right? And she was really testing me. I mean, really testing me,” Alves shared on an episode of Southern Living’s “Biscuits & Jam” podcast at the time. “She would call me by all of Matthew’s ex-girlfriends’ names, she would start speaking Spanish with me in a very broken way, kind of putting down a bit. I mean, all kinds of stuff.”
Despite having a rocky beginning at first, Alves and McCabe came to a mutual understanding after a trip to Istanbul brought them closer.
“I’m putting her to bed, and I realized, ‘Oh my god, she’s full of s—t,” Alves quipped, laughing. “All she wanted was for me to fight back and then from that day on, that night on, we have the most amazing relationship, and I have so much respect for her. She has so much respect for me. I mean, it can get tricky sometimes, you know? But we always end with a good laugh and a joke.”
McConaughey, for his part, explained how his wife was able to ultimately pass his mother’s test.
“Camila goes, ‘I’m not asking your permission anymore.’ And basically, my mom was like, ‘There we go. That’s right,’” McConaughey said on Thursday.
McConaughey and Alves began dating in 2006 and tied the knot six years later. The couple share three children: Levi, 15, Vida, 13 and Livingston, 10. As their kids get older, McConaughey is unsure if Alves with use her mother-in-law’s same tactics on her own brood.
“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. “Navigating is not going to be perfect, but I think we’ll work it out.”