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Matthew McConaughey and his mother open up about their difficult eight-year estrangement

The actor’s fame – and his mother’s love for it – rested at the center of their once-strained relationship

Matthew and Kay McConaughey
Michael Buckner, Getty Images

Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey and his 88-year-old mother, Kay, conducted their first joint interview Tuesday where the two spoke about the difficult eight-year rift in their relationship.

Matthew and Kay visited Jada Pinkett Smith’s Facebook Watch series “Red Table Talk” Tuesday to tout the actor’s new memoir, “Greenlights,” People reports. The mother and son discussed how the actor’s fame — and his mother’s love for it — rested at the center of their once-strained relationship.

They explained that the separation began when Matthew started to garner acclaim in the mid ’90s, and Kay became besotted by her son’s public and national success.

“As soon as I got ‘famous’ after ‘A Time to Kill,’ I started to have my weekly Sunday call home to call my mother,” the actor said, “(But my) mother wasn’t answering the phone. A fan of my fame was answering the phone.”

The actor expressed that he felt betrayed once his mother started leaking information to the media.

“I would share things with her (and then) some of those things I would share (would) show up in the 6 o’clock news three days later,” the actor said.

McConaughey said that things reached a breaking point once he discovered that his mother had invited a camera crew for a tabloid news program into his childhood home.

When the actor confronted his mother about the ordeal, her response was, “I didn’t think you’d find out.”

According to Today, the Oscar winner said his fame made it impossible for the two to communicate effectively.

“I was like, ‘Look, mom, loose lips will sink ships,’” the actor relayed, “‘There are a lot of people that would like to know these things and it’s none of their business.’”

When Kay reflects on the time, she acknowledges that perhaps she was enjoying the fame more than her son was, according to People.

“There were years there where I would not share things with her because I was, you know, again, finding my own balance ... I was not able to talk to her as my mom for about eight years,” the actor confessed.

According to Today, the actor provides a detailed account of the estrangement in his new memoir.

Over time, mother and son gradually mended their relationship as Kay learned to respect McConaughey’s boundaries and McConaughey acclimated to his life in the limelight. According to People, the two finally made repairs in 2004.

Now their relationship is stronger than ever as Kay has spent the past eight months quarantining with her son, his wife, and her three grandkids at the actor’s Texas estate, Today reports.

Camila McConaughey, Matthew’s spouse, recently posted this photo of the mother and son on her instagram account: