Camila Alves Recalls Major Fight With Matthew McConaughey's Mom at Start of Their Relationship

The 41-year-old model details the rocky start to her connection with Kay McConaughey, a.k.a. Ma Mac.

Camila Alves-McConaughey was put through the ringer during the early days of her relationship with Matthew McConaughey. The 41-year-old model is opening up about the hostility she initially faced from her now-mother-in-law, Mary Kathlene -- also known as Kay -- and the breaking point that changed the course of their connection. 

"She did all these things when I first came in the picture," Camila recalls in a chat on Southern Living's Biscuits & Jam podcast. "She was really testing me. I mean, really testing me. 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 down a bit. I mean, all kinds of stuff." 

As their romance progressed, Camila says she was undeterred by the curveballs Ma Mac -- as Matthew's mother is affectionately called -- hurled her way. In fact, she went the extra mile to offer an olive branch. After booking a modeling job in Istanbul, Camila chose to share the perks of first-class travel and an extra hotel room with Matthew's mother by bringing her along on the trip. 

"The whole way there, the whole plane ride to Istanbul, she was telling me all these stories and putting all these things in my head. Enough that, when we landed, I was like, 'OK, alright. Let me buckle up. Let me get ready for this situation,'" Camila recalls.

"And then about day three, I was taking her to her room, and she got into this whole other thing that it's not my place to share, and she starts crying, and I'm like, 'Oh my gosh!' You know, 'Ma Mac!' feeling so sorry," she continues. "And as I put her to bed, I look at her and I'm like, 'Oh my gosh. She's full of s**t.'"

The realization, Camila says, pushed her to her breaking point. 

"So I just flip it on her and brought my spicy Brazilian, Latin side, and I let her have it," she shares. "So I went back at her, and we had it back and forth, back and forth. And then at the end, she just looked at me and she was like, 'OK. Now you're in.' All she wanted was for me to fight back."

From then on, Camila says the women have shared "the most amazing relationship" filled with mutual respect. 

"It can get tricky sometimes," she adds with a laugh. "But we always end with a good laugh and a joke." 

Camila also says that she sees aspects of her husband's personality shine through from his mother. 

"They're very similar in a lot of ways," she says. "When we first start dating, [there] was this image of Matthew of getting high, laid back, no shirt, whatever. Which I'm like, 'The guy doesn't even smoke. What is this vision coming from?' He's actually the opposite, and he's like his mom. She's very organized, very minimalistic, very on time, very prepared, and he gets a lot of those traits from her."

Last month, Camila offered a glimpse into her life with Ma Mac in a cute Instagram post. Joking that she was missing Paris Fashion Week, Camila showed off her skills as an at-home colorist while pampering her mother-in-law with a salon treatment

"Not at fashion week…but things are pretty exciting and fashionable here!" Alves quipped in the caption. "Family duties first…Lord don’t let her hair fall off 🙏🏽🙏🏽 no pressure!! 😂 House Calls appointments coming soon! …. stay limbo my friends…. 💚💛💚💛💚💛💚💛💚💛💚💛"

Matthew and Camila met in a Los Angeles nightclub in 2006 and made their red carpet debut as a couple at the January 2008 premiere of the actor's film, Fool's Gold. They welcomed their first child, son Levi, on July 7, 2008, followed by a daughter, Vida, on Jan. 3, 2010. The couple married on June 9, 2012 and went on to have a third child, son Livingston, on Dec. 28, 2012. 

Together, the McConaugheys founded the just keep livin Foundation in an effort to empower high school students with the tools to lead active and healthy lives as they work toward a bright future. Camila has also cultivated the Women of Today online platform in celebration of community and empowerment. 

Earlier this year, Matthew dropped a surprising bombshell about his mother's past and a surprising familial connection with his True Detective co-star, Woody Harrelson.

"In Greece a few years ago, we’re sitting around talking about how close we are and our families. And my mom is there. And she says, 'Woody, I knew your dad,'" McConaughey said on Kelly Ripa's SiriusXM podcast, Let's Talk Off Camera, with an emphasis on the word "knew." "Oh, everyone was aware of the ellipses that my mom left after knew. It was a lovely k-n-e-w. Well, we went on to unpack what this ‘knew’ meant. And [we] did some math and found out that his dad was on furlough at the same time that my mom and dad were in their second divorce. Then, there’s possible receipts in a place that’s out in West Texas where there might have been a [inaudible] or a meeting or a ‘knew’ moment."

Later, Harrelson added in another interesting tidbit to the saga. 

"His mom had a relationship with my dad right around the time he was conceived," Harrelson explained in an interview with Esquire. "That seems like a big coincidence. And his dad did say -- you know, [when] she was going to the hospital to give birth -- he goes, 'That ain't my son.' And he didn't go to the hospital."

For more on that story, watch the video below.