When 1996’s “A Time to Kill” opened in theaters McConaughey’s life flipped from total anonymity to instant fame and he felt that his world was closing in. He bought a one-way ticket to Mali. He backpacked for 21 days using a fake name, saying he was a boxer. What a lie!
He needed to check in with himself, and Mali’s beauty and seclusion were restorative. He also found himself in a fighting match with the toughest dude in the village. The actor was a bloody mess, but he said he would’ve regretted it forever if he had turned down the challenge.
He Dated Two of His "Time To Kill" Co-Stars
Making it in Hollywood changed McConaughey’s dating life. After “A Time to Kill” he dated Ashley Judd, his first backstage romance. It was a brief love affair in 1996. The actress played Carla, the wife of Matthew’s Jake Tyler Brigance and sparks flew both on and off the set.
It was a breakout role for both young actors, but she wasn’t the only actress from “A Time to Kill” that McConaughey went out with. He also dated Hollywood superstar Sandra Bullock. As for Judd, she moved on that same year going out with chart-topping pop musician Michael Bolton. We're not sure if that's upgrade or a downgrade.
Matthew Dated Sandra Bullock
In 1996, McConaughey dated Sandra Bullock. The two saw each other until 1998. Bullock was just coming off her blockbuster hit “Speed," which she starred in alongside the likes of Keanu Reeves and Dennis Hopper. As for Matthew McConaughey, he was being flooded with rom-com scripts.
It was clear that the two were at completely different stages of their careers. After dating for two years, they ended it on very good terms and remain friends until this day. They both call Austin home. Bullock says there is a lot of respect and love between them. Bullock started dating photographer Bryan Randall since 2015, and stayed together up until his passing in 2023.
He Has Mom Issues
Just as Matthew McConaughey’s name was rising into A-list territory, he began having problems with his mother Kay. Her pride in his celebrity status made her starstruck, and too much of a fan, as he said it. He would talk to her on the phone, and it didn’t feel like his mother anymore.
Then, the day after a conversation, private details that he had shared with only her were making national news. He told her he needed her to chill as his fame was at a fragile stage. He did not speak to his mom for eight years after that.
After eight years of not talking to his mom, they came out on the other side of the issue. He had forgiven her for being in contact with the media, but it took all those years before he reached out again. Sharing the story with “The Howard Stern Show,” he said all he had to do is set some boundaries.
And now she’s “awesome,” sharing incredible stories. He said those eight years were tough. He had to explain it to his brothers. But today they’re completely over it, and he sees his mom every Sunday. It's amazing how time heals all wounds.