Awww, Matthew!
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Credit: Photo by Getty Images; Design by Corinne Mucha/Southern Living

There's no doubting Matthew McConaughey's incredible charisma. And when he speaks about his mother, Kay McConaughey, the source of his Texas charm is clear.

McConaughey refers to her as K-Mac, and in almost every interview he gives, he brings her up—whether he's telling a funny anecdote, sharing a sweet saying, or a cracking light-hearted joke about her lively personality. Kay seems to be the life of the party—she's even written a book about her amazing personality. And it's not just his mother's charm McConaughey has to thank his Mama for. The actor and Greenlights author attributes his success, his confidence, and, yes, his Southern manners to Mrs. Kay McConaughey. Just to name a few.

But don't take our word for it—take Matthew's, who has plenty of sweet quotes about his mother. Just don't dare call him Matt.

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Credit: Design by Corinne Mucha/Southern Living

He Takes Her Out with Him

From Fleetwood Mac concerts to the 2014 Oscars, McConaughey frequently brings along his mom as his date: "I do not remember the last time when we partied when she didn't go to bed after me and get up before me."

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He Moved to Be Closer to Her

"My mother is there… my mom was seventy-seven when we moved [to Austin]. She's 85 now. I realize that is fourth quarter stuff, so I said, 'Let's get down closer to mom.' So now, we see her every weekend instead of twice a year. That was important to the kids, important to Camila and I, and important to my mom."

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He's Still a Bit Scared Of Her

"She's 84, but she's still spry… I answered to Matt one time when I was in kindergarten, when my mom was my teacher. My buddy goes, 'Hey Matt! Wanna play on the monkey bars?' and I said, 'Yeah,' and ran to the monkey bars... and next thing I know I feel a hand on my shoulder pull me back and body-slam me to the ground—and it was my mother. She says to me, 'What's your name?' I said, 'Matthew...' and she goes, 'Why did you answer to Matt?' And I said, 'I don't know, I knew he was talking to me!' Then she said, 'Don't you ever answer to that again—I named you Matthew on purpose.' So if anyone calls me 'Matt,' I know they either don't know me well, or they're jacking with me."

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He Supports Her Ambition

"Every single role I get, she wants to be in the movie. She had a great idea that she pitched. She'd come to visit me on sets, and she would say, 'Where's the guy in charge?' I would say, 'There is the producer, the moneyman, the financer.' And she would corner him. And she would say, 'Ok, ok, listen to this: Remake of The Graduate. I'm Anne Bancroft, Matthew is Dustin Hoffman.' She's still pitching that. No one has made it yet."

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He Admires Her Spirit

"Her favorite word is 'yes.' One day, I said, 'Mom no one forgives themselves quicker than you. Do you ever have any regret, or do you ever at the end of the day say, "I could work on that?"' She goes, 'Honey, every single night when I go to bed, I have a long list of those things. But the thing is, when I wake up in the morning, I've forgot them all.'"

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He's Patient with Her

"I remember telling my mom, 'Mom, some things have showed up in the press… just do me a favor. If anyone comes to you wanting to do an interview, just check with me, let me vet them first. I have a publicist. They vet those people.' She said, 'I got it, I'm sorry, you're right.' 8 days later, I get a phone call. 7 o'clock. 'Matthew, turn on Hard Copy. You're mom is on the show. She has a guy on camera walking through your room.' I turn it on and there's my mom, giving a tour. Then I call mom and I go, 'Mom, what are you doing?And she goes, 'Nothing.' And I said, 'You're watching the show that you gave an interview for.' And she's like, 'How did you know? And I'm like, 'Mom! How did I know?' And she goes, 'But he was such a nice guy, and I was just talking to him…' And I said, 'You see that camera? That's a million other people.' She's like, 'You caught me.' All of her stuff was fun and innocent, but loose lips can sink ship. Let me handle my own narrative, and let me get used to this before you go off speaking for me."

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He Listens to His Heart

The Texas-born Southern celeb says that when he first saw wife Camila Alves out the corner of his eye, he wasn't looking for a relationship. But one look at her, and he said to himself, "Get your ass out of the chair and go get her."

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He Attributes His Success to Her

"I got a mother who, you know, knows that all of my talents came from her, and she needs to be up there, and she didn't get her chance to be in the Golden Girls. So now is her chance, so come on with it."

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He Appreciates the Confidence She Has in Him

Growing up, McConaughey's mother told him that he had earned the title of Little Mr. Texas. "Six years ago at 39 years old, I decide, 'well let me just zoom in on this picture.' And I look at the trophy and it says, 'runner up.' So I call my mom, and I'm like, 'Mom, you told me I was Little Mr. Texas!' And she's like, 'Well, you are.' And I go, 'No, I looked at the trophy, it says runner up.'And she was like, 'No, the kid who won it had a lot more money than us, and he bought a three-piece suit and that's what we call cheating. You were Little Mr. Texas.' But this is consistent behavior from my mother, who is now 82."

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He Wants His Parents' Support

"I was set for law school at the University of Texas, but then decided I wanted to go to film school. Believe me, I was dreading telling my mother and father... So when I summoned up enough courage to tell them, there was long silence. Then they asked, 'Is that what you want?"I said, 'Yes.' They said, 'You had better go and do it, then.'"

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He Respects Her Tough Love

"We were not allowed to gripe about anything. She was like, 'You know what you sound like? You sound like the kid b****ing about having no shoes. Well, let me introduce you to the kid with no feet, son.'"

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He Knows How to Treat a Lady

"She was a typical Texan mom. She would stand no nonsense. If I woke in a grumpy mood she'd come up to me and—wham!— hit me on the side of the head… [My parents] taught us how to respect women, from early on. They were the sort of parents you listened to. We, as a family, were taught our responsibilities. I always kept that in mind with both girls and women. My first date was at 13, with a girl called Amy. We were going to meet at a line-dancing club after football. I then asked her if she wanted to go for a walk on a nature trail. It was a first kiss for both of us. She had braces, my lip was caught in them and it started bleeding. I made sure I kept that story quiet from others at school—not only out of respect for her, but to make sure I wasn't laughed at… and from that moment I always kept in mind what my mom taught me, to treat women with respect."

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He Loves That She's Loyal

"She's a woman that says I'm going to before she can, I would before she could, and I'll be there before she's invited."

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He Knows His Mama's a Fighter

"She's a true baller, living proof that the value of denial depends on one's level of commitment to it. She beat two types of cancer on nothing more than aspirin and denial." 

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He Gets His Confidence from Her

"She always told us, 'Don't you walk into a place like you want to buy it, walk in like you own it.'"