Matthew McConaughey has defended his mum's tough treatment of his wife Camila Alves.

Matthew McConaughey has defended his mum for testing his wife Camila Alves

Matthew McConaughey has defended his mum for testing his wife Camila Alves

The model recently revealed how her mother-in-law Mary Kathlene 'Kay' McCabe put her through hell at the start of her relationship with the actor by continually calling her by his ex-girlfriend's name - and now Matthew has explained it was all part of his family's "rites of passage" and Camila passed with flying colours.

He told ET Canada: "My family is big on rites of passage and initiation, and you don’t get into the McConaughey family easily. We test you. And even in our own family with my brothers, and mother is one of us.”

The 'Dallas Buyers Club' star added: "Oh, my family, we humbly wait, we make you cry, and then we pick you up and make your favorite drink. … So there are initiations, rites of passage that my family’s always enjoyed."

It comes after Camila admitted she was shocked by his mum's treatment of her when she first started dating her son.

Speaking on Southern Living's 'Biscuits Jam' podcast, Camila explained: "She did all these things when I first came in the picture, right? She was really testing me. I mean, really testing me. "She would call me by all of Matthew's ex-girlfriends' names, she would start speaking Spanish with me in a very broken way, kind of putting [me] down a bit. I mean, all kinds of stuff." However, Camila - who has children Levi, 15, Vida, 13, and Livingston, 10 - with Matthew revealed their relationship changed when she offered her mother-in-law a free first-class ticket to Istanbul after she landed a modelling job in Turkey and finally stood up for herself on the trip. She said: "[I told her] 'Ma Mac, you're gonna come with me. The whole way there, the whole plane ride to Istanbul, she was telling me all these stories and putting all these things in my head. "When we landed, I was like, 'Okay, all right. Let me buckle up. Let me get ready for this situation.' "About day three, I was taking her to her room, and she got into this whole other thing that it's not my place to share, and she starts crying, and I'm like, 'Oh my gosh! Ma Mac!' and feeling so sorry. And as I put her to bed, I look at her and I'm like, 'Oh my gosh. She's full of s***.' "So I just [flipped] it on her and brought my spicy Brazilian, Latin side, and I let her have it. So I went back at her, and we had it back and forth, back and forth. "She just looked at me and she was like, 'Okay. Now you're in'. All she wanted was for me to fight back. "From that day on, that night on, we have the most amazing relationship, and I have so much respect for her. "She has so much respect for me, it can get tricky sometimes. We always end with a good laugh and a joke."