All right, all right, all right—actors and friends Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are in agreement they might actually be half-brothers.

Harrelson, 61, confirmed during an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday that he and McConaughey are considering a DNA test to determine if they are related. McConaughey, 53, revealed the possible familial connection—that they could share a father—during an appearance on media personality Kelly Ripa’s podcast earlier this month.

“My kids call him Uncle Woody, his kids call me Uncle Matthew, etc., etc.,” McConaughey, 53, told Ripa. “And you see pictures of us, and my family thinks a lot of pictures of him are me. His family thinks a lot of pictures of me are him.”

The two actors met in 1997 while working on the film EDtv and have remained good friends ever since. In 2014, they were both nominated for the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for their roles in the HBO series True Detective.

They are also set to star together in an untitled Apple TV+ comedy series in which they play fictionalized versions of themselves. According to McConaughey, it’s called Brother From Another Mother. Here’s what you need to know about the surprising revelation of why that might actually be true.

How Did McConaughey and Harrelson Find Out?

woody harrelson and matthew mcconaughey talking into a microphone on stage
Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey speak at the 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards.
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McConaughey appeared on Ripa’s Let’s Talk Off Camera podcast on April 12 and told the story of a conversation the actors had with his mother, Kay McConaughey, in Greece a few years ago. They were discussing how close they and their respective families are when Kay said she “knew” Harrelson’s father, Charles.

Charles Harrison was a notorious hitman convicted of two separate murders that occurred in 1968 and 1979, respectively. He died in 2007 at Colorado’s Supermax prison where he was serving two life sentences.

“Everyone was aware of the ellipses that my mom left after ‘knew,’” McConaughey said during the podcast. “It was a loaded K-N-E-W.”

McConaughey said he figured out Key was in the middle of her second divorce with his believed-to-be father James Donald McConaughey, who died in 1992, when Harrelson’s father was on furlough. There is possible evidence indicating she and Harrelson might have had a meeting, or a “knew moment” as The Dallas Buyers Club actor put it.

Harrelson, who was promoting his upcoming HBO miniseries White House Plumbers, told Colbert a similar story during his appearance Tuesday. Harrelson explained the meeting would have happened “the year of [McConaughey’s] birth, nine months before.” He added, “She was on a sabbatical from her relationship with his supposed father, Jim.”

What Are They Saying About It?

While Harrelson is open to taking a DNA test to confirm or deny their suspicions, McConaughey told Ripa he is hesitant because of the possible ramifications.

“It’s a little harder for me because [Harrelson’s] asking me to take the chance to go, ‘Wait a minute—you’re trying to tell me my dad may not be my dad of 53 years,’ and believe in it?” McConaughey said. “I got a little more skin in the game.”

Harrelson, meanwhile, seems a little more excited about the prospect of the two being related. “For him, it’s a much more big deal,” Harrelson said. “I mean, he feels like he’s losing a father, but I’m like, ‘No, you’re gaining a different father and a brother.’”

For now, though, their brotherhood remains only figurative.

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Tyler Piccotti
Associate News Editor,

Tyler Piccotti joined the staff in 2023, and before that had worked almost eight years as a newspaper reporter and copy editor. He is a graduate of Syracuse University, an avid sports fan, a frequent moviegoer, and trivia buff.