Matthew McConaughey’s wife Camila Alves provided a rare insight into her “tricky” relationship with her mother-in-law Mary Kathlene “Kay” McCabe.
The Brazilian model, 41, shared about the rocky beginnings with Kay, nicknamed ‘Ma Mac’ by the family, in a new episode of Cookies and jams from Southern Living podcast.
Alves, who shares three children with the Oscar winner, 53, who she has been married to since 2012, revealed that after she first started dating him in 2006, Kay, now 91, began “testing” her.
“She did all these things when I first came into the picture, right? She was really testing me. I mean really put me to the test.’
“She called me by all the names of Matthew’s ex-girlfriends, she started speaking Spanish to me in a very broken way, which left me (me) a bit down. I mean, all sorts of things.’
‘Tricky’: Matthew McConaughey’s wife Camila Alves, 41, provided a rare insight into her ‘tricky’ relationship with her mother-in-law Mary Kathlene ‘Kay’ McCabe, 91; Camila seen in 2023
Tough beginnings: “She was doing all these things when I first came into the picture. She was really testing me. I mean, I’m really being tested,” Camilla revealed on Tuesday; The trio seen in 2014
Camila then described the incident that led Kay to finally accept her as part of the family.
She recalled how, after landing a modeling job in Istanbul and an extra first-class ticket and a free hotel stay, she told her mother-in-law, “Ma Mac, you’re coming with me.”
“All the way there, all the way to Istanbul, she told me all these stories and put all these things in my head,” Camila continued.
“When we landed I was like, ‘Okay, okay. Let me fasten my seat belt. Let me prepare for this situation.”
“About day three I took her to her room, and she got into a whole other thing that I’m not supposed to talk about, and she starts crying, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God!’ You know, “Ma Mac!” and it feels so sad. And as I put her to bed, I look at her and I think, “Oh my God. She’s full of things.”
Then Camila decided it was time to stand up for herself.
“So I just put it on her and brought my sassy Brazilian, Latin side, and I gave it to her.” So I went back to her, and we had it back and forth, back and forth.”
In the end, the interaction earned her Ma Mac’s respect.
MIL: “She called me by all the names of (his) ex-girlfriends, she started speaking Spanish to me in a very broken way, which left her (me) a bit down,” she shared; In the photo 2014
All good: Camila said her relationship with Kay took a turn after she finally stood up for herself one day: “She just looked at me and said, ‘Okay. Now you’re in'”; In the photo 2019
Closer than ever: In 2020, the pair discussed a close bond and how ‘it took some work’ to get to where they are today on The Drew Barrymore Show
“She just looked at me and said, ‘Okay. Now you’re in,” Camila explained, adding: “All she wanted was for me to fight back.”
She revealed that the duo have had a great relationship since that day, although things can get “awkward” at times.
“From that day, that night, we’ve had a great relationship, and I have so much respect for her.”
“She has so much respect for me,” she said, adding, “It can get tricky sometimes.” However, Camilla explained, “We always end with a good laugh and a joke.”
And in 2020, the pair discussed that they were very close and that “it took some work” to get to where they are today on The Drew Barrymore Show.
Kay said that at the beginning of Camila and Matthew’s courtship, the two strong-willed women “put each other to the test,” but the model saw things a little differently: “Well, I’ll say more, you tested me,” she said.
Camilla isn’t the only one in the family who has had a hard time getting along with Ma Mac at one point.
It is known that Matthew himself did not speak to his mother for eight years after she continuously leaked their private conversations to the press, prompting him to finally set “some boundaries” with her.
“I was having conversations and then all of a sudden – whoop – what we were talking about would end up in the paper three days later,” the Dallas Buyers Club star shared. The Howard Stern Show in 2020.
Happy family: Alves began dating McConaughey in 2006 and they married in 2012. The couple shares three children together: Levi, 15, Vida, 13, and Livingston, 10; Seen in 2019
Candid: In 2020, Matthew and his mother Kay sat down for their first joint interview, following the release of his new memoir, which details their eight-year estrangement
After constantly explaining that their conversations should be between themselves, he reached his tipping point after she gave a television tour of his childhood home.
When Stern asked if he would stop talking to his mother after she showed her the bed where “he lost his virginity,” he explained that those years were “tough.”
Over the years, Matthew has “forgiven” her and she has even quarantined with him, Camila and their children, Levi, 15, Vida, 13, and Livingston, 10, during the 2020 Covid pandemic lockdowns.
“It was tough for eight years, but we made it through and we’re on the other side now. It’s okay,” he shared, noting that things are no longer “strenuous” between them.