Becoming a McConaughey is no easy feat.
Matthew McConaughey defended his mother’s tough love after his wife, Camila Alves, revealed last month that her mother-in-law, Mary McCabe, put her through the wringer at the beginning of their relationship.
“My family is big on rites of passage and initiation, and you don’t get into the McConaughey family easily,” the “Dallas Buyers Club” actor told ET Canada Thursday.
“We test you. And even in our own family with my brothers, and mother is one of us.”
Although McConaughey, 53, admitted that sometimes they get “on their high horses,” he said at the end of the day, they are always there for one another.
“Oh, my family, we humbly wait, we make you cry, and then we pick you up and make your favorite drink. … So there are initiations, rites of passage that my family’s always enjoyed,” he added.
In August, Alves revealed on an episode of the “Southern Living’s Biscuits & Jam” podcast that McCabe — who they call “Ma Mac” — “really tested” her before eventually welcoming her with open arms.
“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 [me] down a bit. I mean, all kinds of stuff,” the Brazilian model said.
It wasn’t until Alves, 41, fired back at McCabe during a girls’ trip to Istanbul, Turkey, that the pair started seeing eye to eye.
“At the end, she just looked at me and she was like, ‘OK. Now you’re in,” she explained. “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.”
Although things can “get tricky sometimes,” she said they “always end with a good laugh and a joke.”
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It makes sense that they are close now given the fact that Alves shared her husband is just “like his mom,” a “very organized, very minimalistic, very on time [and] very prepared” person.
While the two women were eventually able to work things out, McConaughey isn’t sure whether he and Alves will continue the tradition when it comes to their kids’ future partners.
“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,” he told ET Canada.
“Navigating is not going to be perfect, but I think we’ll work it out,” he added.
The Oscar-winning actor shares three children — Levi, 15, Vida, 13, and Livingston, 10 — with Alves, whom he married in 2006.