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Matthew McConaughey On His Unorthodox Upbringing And Why He Wouldn't Change A Thing

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Matthew McConaughey On His Unorthodox Upbringing And Why He Wouldn't Change A Thing

Generally, parents try to shelter their kids from things like sex and violence, but not Matthew McConaughey's. That said, the actor wouldn't change a thing. Watch him explain why here:


McConaughey's memoir Greenlights opens with a 'gnarly story' about a fight between his parents that really has to be read to be believed.

To summarise the key plot points: his dad flipped the dining table and doused his mum with ketchup, and she broke his nose with a telephone before trying to slash him with a 12-inch knife.


The battle concluded with the couple dropping their weapons and making love on the ketchup-covered kitchen floor, as a young Matthew cowered behind a nearby sofa.

Suffice to say, it was an unconventional relationship, with the couple marrying three times and divorcing twice - his dad even broke his mum's middle finger 'to get it out of his face' on four separate occasions.

The violence wasn't contained within the relationship either, and corporal punishment was the preferred means of teaching their kids lessons. On one occasion, when Texas native McConaughey was just 10, he was whipped until his 'butt bled' for putting on a temporary tattoo.


But while all of this might be shocking to read, McConaughey - having lived through it - is filled with love and admiration for his parents.

"I wouldn't ask my parents to change anything that they did," he told LADbible.

Certainly, if you're a believer in the ends justifying the means, there can be no arguing with their methods.

Since those formative days, McConaughey has gone on to become one of the most well-loved stars in Hollywood, picking up an Oscar - and a boatload of page-turning anecdotes - along the way.

McConaughey won an Oscar for his stunning performance in Dallas Buyers Club. Credit: Alamy
McConaughey won an Oscar for his stunning performance in Dallas Buyers Club. Credit: Alamy

Reflecting on the time his dad struck him to the ground after he lied about stealing a pizza, McConaughey explained the rationale behind his parents' version of justice.

The 52-year-old said: "I wasn't struck with such force that it knocked me into the corner. The reason I fell down in the corner was because I was standing on some lactic acid coward-ass lying legs.

"What hurt was looking up at him and seeing the pain on his face, feeling like he failed as a father for not raising a son that can come home and tell the damn truth about stealing a pizza.


"Because if I told him, 'Yeah, we stole it,' he'd have gone: 'Number one - you need to learn how to get away with it better. Number two - I've stolen plenty of pizzas, here's how you would do it. Number three - are you not making enough money with your chores to buy your own damn pizza?'"

McConaughey himself always dreamed of becoming a father, and like with seemingly any goal the Austin FC co-owner sets his sights on, this dream became a reality with his wife Camila, with whom he has three children.

His mum - who recently turned 90 - is currently living with the family he's built, but sadly, his dad is not around to see it.


Just as McConaughey was delivering a career-launching portrayal of Wooderson in Dazed and Confused, his dad passed away - in a way that was befitting of his relationship with his mum, and exactly as his old man had forecasted.

McConaughey recalled: "The beauty of him dying - or his heart not being able to pump enough blood to his body to live - through making love to my mother for his last time, that was just beautiful.

"Plus, he had called that. He would tell me and the boys, 'Boys, when I go, I will be making love to your mother.'

"And then he did it. It's sage stuff, man. That's legendary - calling your shot for decades before it happens."

And while McConaughey has become a household name since his dad's passing, it could all have been very different had his blue-collar father not offered up his blessing when his son nervously called to tell him he wanted to go to film school, not law school.

After pausing for thought, his dad told him: "Well... Don't half-ass it."

Unquestionably, he has not.

You can buy McConaughey's New York Times bestselling memoir Greenlights and the guided companion journal Greenlights: Your Journal, Your Journey here.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Matthew McConaughey, Celebrity

Jake Massey
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