It’s no secret that families can be complicated, but if newly resurfaced rumours about two of Hollywood’s best-loved and most endearing stars turn out to be true, it might just take the biscuit for the most shocking family drama of the decade so far…
Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are twin Texan parts of Hollywood’s ultimate bromance and the living embodiment of why you always need a mate who’s a bad influence… But could their relationship be headed to the next level?
The pair have grown close over a number of years, having worked together on a string of projects – including the hit show True Detective – as well as having a wide variety of things in common asides from their profession including, but not limited to, a shared birthplace and fondness for marijuana…
But this week it was revealed on Kelly Ripa’s Let’s Talk Off Camera podcast that their relationship could be even more intimate than we already realised: Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson may be half-brothers.
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When asked about Harrelson on the podcast, McConaughey was candid about their already close relationship: “You know, where I start and where he ends, and where he starts and I end, has always been like a murky line…”
However, he went on to add that it was a few years ago during a family trip to Greece that McConaughey really began to take the notion that they might be more than just friends pretty seriously when his mother, lovingly referred to as “Ma Mac”, claimed to know Harrelson’s father.
After running some numbers, Harrelson and McConaughey quickly realised that not only is it possible that the parental pair knew of each other, but that they could have “known” each other pretty intimately. Speaking to Stephen Colbert, Harrelson weighed in on the debate:
“It’s crazy, we were in Greece and we were watching the US team win the World Cup and I don’t know, I mentioned something about regrets and I said you know, it’s odd that my father has no regrets… I’ve known Ma Mac a long time, she goes ‘I knew… your father’ and it was (the pause) that I found a little troubling, or interesting.”Woody Harrelson, speaking to Stephen Colbert
Colbert quickly quipped back that the pause was so full of innuendo to represent a “pregnant pause” – very good indeed. However, though this news could lead to a blockbuster-ready twist in the tale of both men’s lives, McConaughey is a little more nervous than Harrelson:
“We want to go and [do a DNA] test, but for him, it’s a much more big deal,” Harrelson said. “He feels like he is losing a father”, but went on to affectionately correct his co-star saying “no, you’re gaining a different father and a brother.”
My dad the serial killer
Sweet as that undeniably is, it remains to be seen whether they go ahead with the paternity test. What adds an additional level of intrigue to this story, however, is the identity and life of Harrelson’s father: he was a contract killer who claims to have killed JFK.
Though the latter claim is very much unverified, Harrelson’s father was indeed a hitman and convicted murderer. Charles Harrelson, a notorious organised crime figure, was responsible for the assassination of John H. Wood Jr., the first US federal judge assassinated in the 20th century. He was arrested and sentenced to two life terms in 1980 after being apprehended for that assassination, after a six-hour standoff with police in which he was reportedly high on cocaine. Hoo boy.
Harrelson Senior also claimed to have assassinated JFK during his trial for the Wood Jr. murder, although he later claimed he only said that to drag out the trial… After being incarcerated, however, he told a Dallas TV station rather enigmatically “Do you believe that Lee Harvey Oswald killed President Kennedy, alone, without any aid from a rogue agency of the US government or at least a portion of that agency? I believe you are very naive if you do.” The plot thickens…
Though fascinating, it throws the complicated question of whether McConaughey would want to be related to such a man into the mix, regardless of what the test results say.
As well as McConaughey’s own feelings about being related to such a character, it would also make plain whether sweet ol’ Ma Mac had previously had sexual relations with such a character: a fact and accompanying mental image that McConaughey may wish to keep at bay…
It’s an undoubtedly intriguing story and, on one level, I’ve no doubt that fans around the world are desperate to find out that two men whose friendship they so readily idolise are actually a legally recognised brotherhood.
However, McConaughey himself is probably, and understandably, a lot more ambivalent about the issue. Not only would it involve a total rewrite of the family history he had grown up knowing, but – as with all Hollywood gossip – that rewriting would be played out in media worldwide.
So for now, perhaps we should let sleeping dogs lie or, more accurately, let mates be mates. Blood brotherhood brings a whole heap of emotional baggage with it that frankly we could all do without.