Matthew McConaughey Says Woody Harrelson Might Be His Biological Brother: ‘There’s Possible Receipts’

Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are close friends, and now McConaughey claims there’s a chance they’re related by blood, too.

The “True Detective” star broached the topic during an episode of Kelly Ripa’s “Let’s Talk Off Camera” podcast while promoting the new Apple TV+ series, “Brother From Another Mother.”

“You know, where I start and where he ends, and where he starts and I end, has always been like a murky line,” McConaughey said of his close friendship with Harrelson. “And that’s part of our bromance, right? My kids call him Uncle Woody. His kids call me Uncle Matthew. And you see pictures of us and my family thinks a lot of pictures of him are me. His family thinks a lot of pictures of me are him.”

“In Greece a few years ago, we’re sitting around talking about how close we are and our families,” McConaughey continued. “And my mom is there, and she says, ‘Woody, I knew your dad.’ Everyone was aware of the ellipses that my mom left after ‘knew.’ It was a loaded K-N-E-W.”

McConaughey has already discussed his parents’ on-again, off-again relationship in his memoir, “Greenlights.”

His parents, Kay McCabe and Jim McConaughey, were married and divorced twice before remarrying a third time. It was shortly after that third marriage that McCabe found out she was pregnant with the future Hollywood star. 

McCabe previously said she named her son Matthew because he was a “gift from God.” After giving birth to her oldest son, Michael, she struggled to get pregnant for years due to Jim’s low sperm count. She adopted their son Patrick and was surprised to find herself pregnant with Matthew.

His mother’s insinuation made McConaughey think about digging into his family history. 


McConaughey said, “We went on to unpack what this ‘knew’ meant and did some math and found out that [Harrelson’s] dad was on furlough at the same time that my mom and dad were in their second divorce. Then there’s possible receipts and places out in West Texas where there might have been a gathering, or a meeting, or a ‘knew’ moment.”

The actor said he isn’t sure about doing a DNA test to confirm these suspicions.

“Look, it’s a little easier for Woody to say, ‘Come on, let’s do [DNA tests],’ because what’s the skin in it for him?” McConaughey said during the podcast interview. “It’s a little harder for me because he’s asking me to take a chance to go, ‘Wait a minute, you’re trying to tell me my dad may not be my dad after 53 years of believing that?’ I got a little more skin in the game.”

McConaughey’s father died in 1992. His mother is an actress.

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