Related? 13 Reasons Why Matthew and Woody Could Be Brothers

Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey
Lester Cohen/WireImage

The internet is abuzz with determining if Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are actually related.

The longtime friends have a whole lot of things in common besides their friendship and profession, and according to McConaughey, their families look at pics and can’t tell the two apart at times.

While Matthew’s kids call Woody “Uncle,” apparently Matthew’s mom admits to knowing Woody’s father, too. There is a lot of innuendo there according to both Matthew and Woody in the “know” of that comment. The topic has resurfaced because the duo are starring in a new Apple TV+  comedy series Brother From Another Mother (title not confirmed), and during a recent podcast interview with Kelly Ripa, Matthew revealed a bit more.

“In Greece a few years ago, we’re sitting around talking about how close we are and our families and et cetera and my mom is there,” Matthew said. “And she says, ‘Woody, I knew your dad.’”

When Ripa asked if they had ever taken a paternity test to find out if they are biological brothers, Matthew explained, “This is what we’re on the precipice of now.” A thought that’s a bit harder for him, as “he’s asking me to take the chance to go ‘wait a minute, you’re telling me my dad may not be my dad of 53 years’ and believe in it?’”

It could all be just a lot of hoopla to generate interest in their new series, but behind the makeup, the costumes and the characters, could these guys really be brothers? Take a look at some of their more memorable moments on screen and see what you think.

Do These “Pictures” Tell the Story?

 ‘EDtv’ Was Our First Introduction

Woody Harrelson, Matthew McConaughey, 199

© Universal/courtesy Everett Collection

In the 1999 comedy EDtv Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson look like brothers sitting around the dinner table, don’t they?  Well, they played them. It’s a fun film that saw Ellen DeGeneres as a cable network head desperate to turn around ratings by introducing a new concept in the history of broadcasting — putting one ordinary person’s life on cable TV 24 hours a day. Each and every second will be true — no script, no actors, no editing. The network chooses Ed Pekurny (McConaughey), a goofy, thirtysomething guy, as the star. Within a week, this unambitious video store clerk becomes the blockbuster hit of the TV season. 

They Were the Surfer Dudes

Woody Harrelson, Matthew McConaughey, 2008,

© Anchor Bay/courtesy Everett Collection

They set out to “fertilize the money tree” and keep things growing as a professional surfer (McConaughey) and his manager (Harrelson). Oh what a good time beach filming must have been like for this pair. Note their same mouth expressions, could that be hereditary? We don’t know but the film still makes us laugh.

“True” Detectives and Friends

Woody Harrelson, Matthew McConaughey, (Season 1, 2014)

Jim Bridges / © HBO / Courtesy: Everett Collection

When we asked  Matthew (enough of the last names!) in 2014 what convinced him to tackle his first ever television series, HBO’s True Detective, he offered up two things: the sheer power of screenwriter Nic Pizzolatto’s scripts and the chance to start some drama with his longtime pal Woody Harrelson … if only onscreen. “This is the third time we’ve worked together and it’s the first time not in a comedy, which I was really excited about,” he said. “The thing about Woody and I is that personally we’re such good friends that if he starts something, I end it. If I start something, he ends it. We pick up each other’s energy very easily and we like doing that. It’s good for the comedies we’ve done [1999’s Edtv and 2008’s Surfer, Dude] and it’s good for our friendship. What it was not going to be good for — which was very clear to me — is that, because our characters are so diametrically opposed as far as their points of view and their personal politics, we had to really make sure we didn’t get onto the other guy’s wavelength — meaning Woody and Matthew’s.”

When Shirtless & Sexy

Matthew McConaughey in Magic Mike and Woody Harrelson in The Cowboy Way

Glen Wilson/©Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection; Barry Wetcher / ©Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Matthew is legendary for onscreen appearances where he displays his abs, in fact in searching for photos, there are many to choose from. We settled on his role as Dallas in 2012’s Magic Mike because, well it’s a movie with lots of strippers. For Woody we remember back to the fun he had in 1994’s The Cowboy Way as Pepper Lewis. He even did an underwear billboard in that one. Who wore it, or better said, didn’t wear it, better?

Batshit Crazy

Matthew McConaughey in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Next Generation and Woody Harrelson in Natural Born Killers

© New Line Cinema / courtesy Everett Collection; © Warner Bros. / courtesy Everett Collection

Sometimes, we all lose our cool a bit. And ain’t it fun to see these two go a little cray, cray. Onscreen Matthew powers up that chainsaw in 1995’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, and Woody envelopes the crazy persona in 1994’s cult classic Natural Born Killers as Mickey Knox. Don’t you think they got some crazy similar crazy eyes?

Bearded and Unrecognizable

Matthew McConaughey in Free States of Jones and Woody Harrelson in 2012

Murray Close/©STX Entertainment/Courtesy Everett Collection; ©Sony Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Brothers have beards from time to time right? Well in 2016’s Free State of Jones Matthew had the facial hair for his role as a Confederate army deserter returning to Mississippi to take on the government. Woody sported this bearded look for the 2009 release of 2012. That’s a lot of numbers but it required a full beard for the crazy broadcast from the wilderness that his character Charlie Frost made about the end of the world. But who wore their beard better? And better yet, do either of these hairy masterpieces resemble brotherhood?

Making Magic

Matthew McConaughey pictured in Magic Mike and woody Harrelson in Now You See Me

©Warner Bros. Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection; Barry Wetcher/©Summit Entertainment/courtesy Everett Collection

When it comes to magic it may have different definitions and maybe that hat comes into play, but Matthew brings the ladies Magic in 2012’s Magic Mike, while Woody is the true magician a year later in 2013’s Now You See Me. Certainly “magic” plays into their brotherhood!

Glasses Make The Man

Matthew from The Sea of Trees and Woody in Wilson

Saki Hiraiwa/ © A24 /Courtesy Everett Collection; Kimberly Simms/TM & Copyright ©Fox Searchlight. All rights reserved./courtesy Everett Collection

Matthew’s spectacles are featured for his performance in the 2015 film The Sea of Trees where he plays an American trying to find his way out of a forest near Mt. Fuji while Woody’s look was featured in the 2017 effort, Wilson, as a man that is lonely, neurotic and quite funny reuniting with his estranged wife. Both have to find a way to see clearly, hence the specs, but who is clearest to you?

Future’s So Bright – Gotta Wear Shades

Matthew in Sahara, Woody in Indecent Proposal

Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection; ©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

Why sunglasses? Are they protecting themselves from the sun’s rays or hiding  the fact that they are brothers? Well Matthew wears the shades in his 2005 adventure as Dirk Pitt in the film Sahara, while maybe Woody is enjoying the moment with Demi Moore in the 1993 film Indecent Proposal. Maybe Robert Redford was asking if the two were brothers and that was the $1,000,000 question?

On The Court

Matthew McConaughey in Failure to Launch, Woody in White Men Can't Jump

©Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection; 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved.

We all know about Woody’s run on 1992’s White Men Can’t Jump alongside Wesley Snipes (a new remake is coming soon to Hulu) but Matthew has game, too, in this image from 2006’s Failure to Launch. We want to know how a game of 1 on 1 would go? Or are they playing H-O-R-S-E? While cropped in this photo, Woody’s jersey even says “Brotherhood.”

On The Field

Matthew in We Are Marshall and Woody from Wildcats

©Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection; ©Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection

Matthew and Woody also show off on the football field. Matthew is coach Jack Lengyel in 2006’s We Are Marshall based on the true story of the horrific crash; and Woody was on the field right away in 1986 with coach Goldie Hawn in Wildcats. Brothers usually share the same passion for sports, don’t they? But could Matthew coach Woody to play us all with a brother angle?

Ready to Swing

Matthew in Larger Than Life and Woody in Zombieland

©United Artists/courtesy Everett / Everett Collection; Glen Wilson/©Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Swinging a crowbar or a bat it’s all the same, right? Focus on the target and inflict maximum pain. Matthew is taking the crowbar towards Bill Murray in 1996’s Larger Than Life, wait that’s the elephant movie right? Woody needed to be spot on with every swing as Tallahassee in 2009’s Zombieland. But wait, notice their opposite grips – surely they would be the same if they were brothers, right? Well, we are going to pass being on the other end of these swings.

With Long Blonde Hair

Matthew McConaughey in The Beach Bum and Woody Harrelson in The Hunger Games

Atsushi Nishijima/ © Neon /Courtesy Everett Collection; Murray Close/©Lionsgate/Courtesy Everett Collection

When it comes to blond highlights they both have their moments hiding their looks, but we know our brothers. Under that shaggy golden hair Matthew plays Moondog in 2019’s The Beach Bum. Woody has hair more carefully manicured for his role as Haymitch in 2012’s The Hunger Games along with its sequels.