Matthew McConaughey Says He and Woody Harrelson Might Literally Be Brothers

"Where I start and where he ends, and where he starts and I end, has always been like a murky line"

Matthew McConaughey Woody Harrelson brothers biological
Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage

    Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson comprise one of the most well known “bromantic” couples in Hollywood… but it’s possible that their bromance has more “bro” in it than they thought. This week, McConaughey has suggested that he and Harrelson might be actual biological brothers.

    Now, if your first reaction is “Wh-wh-what? How could that be?” then you’re not alone — that’s how McConaughey and Harrleson felt too. Telling the story on Let’s Talk Off Camera with Kelly Ripa, McConaughey explained that neither actor had any idea they might be related until his mother dropped the hint a couple years back.

    “In Greece a few years ago, we’re sitting around talking about how close we are and our families,” McConaughey told Ripa. “And my mom is there, and she says: ‘Woody, I knew your dad’… Everyone was aware of the ellipses that my mom left after ‘knew.’ It was a loaded K-N-E-W.”


    After the bomb was dropped, the investigation began. “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.”

    When Ripa inquired whether they’ve tested this hypothesis with a DNA test, McConaughey said that they’re “on the precipice now,” but then explained some of his own hesitation: “It’s a little easier for Woody to say ‘C’mon, let’s do it!’ What’s the skin in it for him? It’s a little harder for me, ‘cause he’s asking me to take a chance [that] that might not be my dad after 53 years of believing it. I got a little more skin in the game!”

    The possible father of both actors is Harrelson’s dad, convicted hitman Charles Harrelson. The elder Harrelson assassinated federal judge John H. Wood Jr. in 1979, and had extensive ties with organized crime. In the 1980s, he even claimed to be involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, at first saying that he fired the fatal shot himself, but then walking back to a more natural stance of alluding to a “rogue agency of the US government” being responsible.


    Paternity aside, the friendship between McConaughey and the younger Harrelson is still going strong. Listen to McConaughey’s interview on Let’s Talk Off Camera with Kelly Ripa below; the quotes above begin around the 13-minute mark.

    McConaughey and Harrelson’s fraternal friendship will be the center-point of the two’s new TV show, Brother From Another Mother. The series will premiere on Apple TV+, and has not announced a release date.