Matthew McConaughey always kept it professional with his onscreen love interests. During an interview on SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show, the 50-year-old actor revealed how he "organically" decided not to get romantically involved with his co-stars, some of whom include Kate Hudson, Jennifer Lopez, and Sarah Jessica Parker.
"I’ve always tried to keep it professional and the people I worked with, I must say, did it well," he explained. "Maybe we had certain crushes on each other at certain times, but we always just kinda kept it professional. Or maybe we were dating somebody seriously outside of ourselves at the time and we both respected that for the other."
McConaughey, who was on the show promoting his new book, Greenlights, also wanted to maintain a professional relationship in order to make better movies.
"If you look at the history of films, and you see a couple [who]... did a movie together and later on they get married and they make another movie together, watch the movie! When they're really good is the movie before it was ever public that they were getting together, when they're on the approach, where you're going, 'Oh, offset they have a little honeymoon happening,'" he said. "But once they get married, you watch that movie, they're not near as good together... It's the movie where they met where you go, 'That's the one where this thing is sizzling.'"
The actor married Camila Alves in 2012 and the pair share three kids -- Livingston, 7, Vida, 10, and Levi, 12. For McConaughey, his family is "non-negotiable."
"The non-negotiable things in my life, when I've watered their proverbial garden, that's when my garden grew and I flourished, and I became more me and life felt more vital," he said. "... I've had trysts along the way in my own life, some people can have them forever and you can Peter Pan your way through the whole thing. Fine. But... the most important thing to me is my family."
Though he counts his family as the most important thing in his life, there was an eight-year period, during the time when his fame was starting to rise, where he didn't speak to his mother, Kay.
"I was calling my mom after that time when I had gotten famous needing to talk to my mom. Because [I was] trying to figure out, 'Hey I'm a little unbalanced here. These things are going on. What do they mean?'" he recalled. "And my mom was not the only one on the phone. Most of the woman that was on the phone was a fan of my fame. And so I would have conversations and then all of a sudden, whoop, what we’d talk about would end up in the paper three days later. I was like, 'Mom, that was between us... Don't share that. This is a new thing. Loose lips can sink my ship.'"
Things turned from bad to worse when his mom gave a tour of his childhood home on TV without his knowledge.
"There's mom, giving somebody a tour through the house. 'Here's where I caught him with so-and-so in bed. Here's where I saw him in the shower. Wonder what he was doing in there, haha,'" he said. "I call her up and I go, 'Mom, what did you do?' She goes, 'What are you talking about?... I didn't think you'd find out.' I was like, 'It's national television, mom!'"
Following that experience, McConaughey went through a time where he "didn't really share much with her." Once his career settled, though, the pair mended their relationship.
"She became a different person. Nobody is perfect... I’ve forgiven her. It wasn’t her fault. I just had to make some boundaries," he said. "It was a strenuous relationship for eight years. We're back completely now. Once I got my career sort of stable and fell to my feet, I let go of the reigns and said, 'Go get it, mom. Whatever you want. There's the camera.' And she's been awesome. She's got incredible stuff to say and do. And I'm like, 'Go for it.'"
"There was always forgiveness. I just tried to bide my time," McConaughey continued. "It was a sad time... It was tough for eight years, but we went through it and we’re on the other side of it. It’s good."