When Matthew McConaughey wished to run away from home, his parents packed his bags for him. He also shared how his mother once threw him into a river.

Matthew McConaughey’s older son Levi, who looks just like his father, made a rare outing with his mother.

The 53-year-old actor gives his three children different childhoods after his “bloody,” “ugly,” and “violent” years as a child with his parents.

Matthew McConaughey and his wife of then ten years, Camila Alves, were parents to three children in 2023, Levi, then 14, Vida, 13, and Livingston, 10. In 2020, the actor confessed that he didn’t raise his children the way his parents raised him.

However, he explained that he wasn’t judging how his parents brought him up. The “Dazed and Confused” star said he chose to have more dialogue that what his parents and grandparents had chosen.

Camila Alves and Matthew McConaughey at the premiere "Sing 2" on December 12, 2021, in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

Matthew shared that he and Alves explained themselves more to their children. He revealed how he’d ask his children to debate things and his mother would comment about how they talked about things too much!

During his November 2021 Red Table Talk appearance, the actor admitted that he wasn’t a “perfect” father but he did inventory quickly when he realized his remarks might’ve been sharp. He also had different ways of instilling the same values in his children compared to how his parents did it.

Matthew understood that his parents were from a different era where when children asked “why” the parent would respond, “because I said so.” He also revealed that in his family he never got grounded when he got in trouble because his mother believed that would be taking time away from him as it was a valuable asset.

Instead, the actor was punished with beatings. Alves’ husband once confessed that he proudly took on the role of fatherhood as it had been the only thing he’d ever wanted to be and had remained his pinnacle, with him adding:

“Being a dad was always my only dream… I can’t think of anything being more important.”

Matthew’s children seemed to have won the lottery when it came to the type of parents they had. However, their father had to overcome many obstacles about his own upbringing and the trauma behind it for him to become a better parent.

Was Matthew’s Childhood Really “Bloody?”
According to the Red Table Talk interview, Matthew’s parents believed in teaching him and his siblings lessons using “tough love” and sometimes beatings. The star confessed how he was beat up for wearing a Cracker Jack tattoo when he was ten.

Matthew McConaughey, his mother Kay McCabeat and his father James Donald McConaughey at "The Lincoln Lawyer" Los Angeles screening on March 10, 2011, in Hollywood, California | Source: Getty Images

When he first threatened to run away from home his parents packed his bags for him. The actor said he learned to swim when his mother threw him into the Llano river as he was either going to float off the rocky waterfall or make back to the bank.

However, the love he received from his parents was real, “bloody sometimes,” but never questionable. Matthew recalled how he never got injured but recalled the values instilled in him from the beatings.

His first beating was for him not answering to his name, the second for saying “I can’t” instead of mentioning he was having trouble, his fourth was for lying, and his fifth for telling “I hate you” to his brother. What he learned was that all those times he got in trouble was when he’d earned it.

Alves’ husband, 53 in 2023, grew up in South Texas and admitted that his parents’ behavior toward him could be construed as abuse, but he didn’t see it that way. The Oscar Award-winner confessed to being scared as a child when the incidents occurred.

However right afterward he didn’t question the love his parents gave him and his siblings. his troubling childhood stories were shared in his 2020 memoir, “Greenlights,” which was based on his dairy entries of over 36 years, with him stating:

“I tell these stories that are bloody and ugly and sometimes violent.”

Matthew McConaughey, Kay McCabeat, James McConaughey, and other family members during the "Two for the Money" World Premiere in Los Angeles, California, on September 27, 2005 | Source: Getty Images

Matthew said the reason he told his life stories was because those times were where he found love. However, it was also a time when the love was most challenged and couldn’t be beaten.

Someone else agreed that the teenager [Levi McConaughey] looked “much older.”

He didn’t see his parents as abusive and he felt it wasn’t fair for someone who was sane and conscious of what happened to say it was. However, he wasn’t in denial and nor were his parents so he didn’t think it fair for strangers to say he was victimized.

Regardless whether Matthew was abused or not, his method of parenting seemed to work for his family and children. His oldest child was already a teenager who was his father’s lookalike.

Does Matthew’s Curly-Haired Son Look Like His Twin at 14?

During 2023’s Paris Fashion Week, Alves, then 41, was visited by Levi and Vida in the country. The two older McConaughey children were able to attend the show’s Stella McCartney Womenswear Fall Winter 2023-2024.

Camila Alves with her son Levi Alves McConaughey, and daughter Vida Alves McConaughey at the Stella McCartney Womenswear Fall Winter 2023-2024 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on March 6, 2023, in Paris, France | Source: Getty Images

Rare photos of the children was shared by an Instagram account on March 7, 2023, showing how grown up the children were. One fan replied to the post noting how “no paternity test was needed” for Levi, while another person wrote:

“He looks just like his dad.”

A third person agreed and said Levi looked a lot like Matthew. Another Instagram account shared a side-by-side photo of the actor and his oldest curly-haired child, leading one follower to note how Levi “does not look 14!”

Someone else agreed that the teenager looked “much older.” Another fan also reiterated how Levi looked a lot like his famous actor father and their resemblance in the image was undeniable and uncanny.