Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson Might Be Brothers

Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson Might Be Brothers

BYMatt MoenApr 19, 2023

It turns out it might just be more than on-set chemistry. Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson may actually be brothers from the same mother.

The two actors have historically been close, from co-starring in EDtv to True Detective and even appearing in an upcoming Apple TV+ comedy fittingly titled Brother From Another Mother. But lately, McConaughey has been wondering if their kinship might be something more than just good friends.

“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 on Kelly Ripa’s Let’s Talk Off Camera podcast. “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.”

As it turns out, the two actors had been vacationing in Greece a few years back when McConaughey's mother let it slip that she "knew" Harrelson's father in a way that suggested it might have been a more intimate relationship. This revelation led both McConaughey and Harrelson to do a little digging to see if the timeline matched up.

“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," McConaughey said. "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.” This also would have happened to take place nine months before McConaughey's birth adding further support to the theory.

For his part, Harrelson seems to be fully convinced that the two share some sort of biological connection. “Well, I’ll just say there is some veracity to that thought,” Harrelson recently remarked in an interview with The Late Show with Stephen Colbert backing up the Greece trip story. Harrelson went on to add that he's actually been pushing for the two to get a DNA test although McConaughey seemed a little more reticent to do so. “We want to go for a [DNA] test, but for him, it’s a much more big deal,” Harrelson said. “I mean he feels like he is losing a father. But I’m like, no, you’re gaining a different father and a brother.”

McConaughey previously defended his decision not to probe any further, explaining that “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? 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.”

Photo via Getty/Kevin Winter