Part of this story is a bit old, as it happened at the Independent Spirit Awards, which are held the night before the Oscars every year, presumably so that the Spirits can be easily overshadowed and get as little press coverage as possible. I missed this at the time, but Matthew McConaughey was on Fresh Air with Terry Gross this week, to promote Mud, which opens this weekend. Gross played a clip of McConaughey’s turn as a presenter at the Spirit awards, where he introduced best picture nominee Bernie, in which he had a supporting role, as did his mother, Kay. When he was onstage talking about Bernie, he told this story:
Since Bernie, and her time onscreen, she corners every producer that she can find on any set that I’m on or otherwise, and pitches her great idea. Of remaking The Graduate. With HER playing Anne Bancroft role. And guess who’s gonna be the Dustin Hoffman role? Me. No shit! This is my mother. Dead serious. And she might have good money-making idea, but it is kinda weird. Incestuous and everything. And if you ask her, and I’ve even said it, I go “Mom, you don’t get how that’s odd?” And her answer’s the same every time, “Oh get over it, I’ve seen it, it’s not that big of a deal.”
Count me in. It’d be the first film we could crowdfund on both Kickstarter AND F*ckstarter. Again, that part of the story isn’t new, but the awesome weirdness of the McConaughey family is as compelling as the zen bongo master himself. You may remember that Kay McConaughey, now 81, is the same woman who self-published an autobiography in 2008, in which she claimed that her late husband died while they were having sex, and that she insisted that his body be removed from the house naked.
“I was just so proud to show off my big old Jim McConaughey — and his gift.”
Corpse boners, dude. For real. But that’s not the last McConaughey Family story from the show:
Later in the show, McConaughey tells a story about how when he was in high school, his mom was working for a cosmetics company. One of her products was mink oil, which was supposed to “remove impurities.” As a pimple-faced teenager, a 15-year-old McConaughey, under advice from his mom, thought it’d be a good idea to put mink oil on his face to treat his acne (which, as we all know, is caused by “impurities”).
So I start doing the mink oil masks at night, and my face is starting to swell up, and I’m developing really bad acne. I talked to my dad’s secretary, who turned my mom onto it (the mink oil), I’m really concerned. And the lady’s like, “wow, you just sure have a lot of impurities, Matthew. Keep it up! And we’ll just pull all of the impurities out, and you’ll never have a blemish again.”
So after two months of it getting worse and worse “until I don’t even look like myself,” McConaughey says, he finally sees a dermatologist who tells him to stop putting oil on his already-oily face. He eventually gets better, and his family decides to file a lawsuit against the mink oil company for inflicting “emotional distress.” Only the lawsuit takes years, as lawsuits do, and by the time he’s being deposed by the company’s attorneys, they pull out McConaughey’s senior class year book, turned to the page where he’s been voted “Most Handsome.”
My dad jacked with me, and my brothers, for years they’d say to me, “Man, we almost won a $30,000 lawsuit! And you gotta go win “most handsome.” You son of a bitch.
The more I hear about Matthew McConaughey’s family, the more I feel like his character hanging out with the weird incestuous Texas family trying to kill their mother for the insurance money in Killer Joe actually wasn’t that much of a stretch. People wear those shirts that say “Don’t Mess with Texas,” and I know this probably isn’t how they mean it, but stories like this are the main reason I don’t mess with Texas. Shit gets really weird out there.