Matthew McConaughey on how mom taught him manners, sent him back to bed if he was 'grumpy' at breakfast


Matthew McConaughey recalled how his mother Kay McConaughey would not tolerate ingratitude — especially at the breakfast table.

During an appearance on the “Your Mama’s Kitchen” podcast with his wife Camila Alves, the 54-year-old actor recounted how Kay taught him and his siblings good manners from an early age.

“My mom was not a good cook, but she always made sure that we had hot meals, always,” the Academy Award winner said.

“That’s where I remember coming in and maybe being grumpy or not getting a good sleep that night or being anxious about something to do school that day,” he continued. “And if my attitude wasn’t great. If I didn’t go ‘Wow, look at this! Thank you for breakfast mom,’ she’d immediately jump in and go, ‘Get your butt back to your room.'” 


“‘Get back in bed, and do not come in this kitchen to have the breakfast that I made you until you’re ready to see the rose in the vase instead of the dust on the table,’” McConaughey remembered.

The Texas native noted that was a “big line” for his mother “that expanded beyond the kitchen as far as perspective and gratitude.”

Matthew McConaughey and mother Kay

Kay shared the actor and his older brothers Michael “Rooster” McConaughey and Pat McConaughey with his late father James McConaughey.

McConaughey said that Kay stood by her rules and would “chase” him and his brothers “all the way back” to their bedrooms and make them stay there until they could come to the table with appreciation.


“She goes, ‘Get back in bed.’ You’d get back in bed with your clothes and your school bag and everything and get under the covers. And she’d go, ‘Now I’m going back in the kitchen. Let’s do this over. You come back in and go ‘Wow look I got scrambled eggs or I got toast again,’” McConaughey recalled.

The actor said that his mother would welcome him warmly when he came back to the table with a more positive attitude.

camila mendes with matthew mconaughey and kay

“She goes, ‘Good morning to you sunshine. Look at that. Another beautiful day — wasn’t guaranteed.’ That was always the kick. You had to get started on gratitude for the day,'” he recalled.

“‘Rose in the vase for the dust on the table.'” McConaughey said, repeating his mother’s mantra.

During their podcast appearance, Alves shared that she was raised with similar rules when it came to table manners.

“It’s the same in Brazil,” the model said. “It’s like you need to know who you’re eating your food from, and if the person has a bad heart, you don’t eat it. You just do not eat that person’s food.”

Alves explained to podcast host Michele Norris that she was referring to a common saying in Portuguese, adding that the “nuts and the bolts of it is basically, you need to know who you are eating from. And if the person has bad intentions, you never eat that food.'”

matthew mconaughey and camila alves with children and his mom kay

“If that person is mad at you, you never eat that food. If you had an argument, you don’t eat it,” she continued.

“It’s funny because even today with my mom like let’s say if we for whatever reason get into a little whatever, I don’t eat her food that day,” Alves said.

“No you don’t,” McConaughey agreed.

“I skip!” Alves said with a laugh.

McConaughey and Alves, who tied the knot in 2021, share sons Levi, 15, and Livingston, 11, and daughter Vida, 14.

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