June 24, 2016 09:00 AM

Matthew McConaughey opens up about falling in love, raising three kids and his provocative new film Free State of Jones. Subscribe now for an inside look into his journey from Texas to Hollywood, only in PEOPLE.

When Matthew McConaughey became an overnight superstar with the 1996 hit A Time to Kill, he tried to keep his private life out of the public eye.

His mother, not so much.

In fact, Kay, a former schoolteacher, so proudly embraced her son’s newfound fame that, well, she needed to share. A lot.

“K-Mac [his nickname for his mother] was enjoying this. I said, ‘Just do me a favor and if anybody wants to do an interview, just check with me first.’ She’s like, ‘I got it. I got it,’ ” the Free State of Jones star tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story.

VIDEO: Matthew McConaughey on Free State of Jones, Career Reinventions and Building a Family

“Eight days later I get a phone call. ‘Matthew. Turn on Hard Copy. Your mom’s on the show. She’s got a cameraman walking through your bedroom. She just said that you slept with this girl in this bed.'”

For much more from Matthew McConaughey – and to celebrate all 100 reasons to love America – pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday. Plus, watch more Jess Cagle Interviews at people.com/jesscagle.

Matthew McConaughey

Sure enough, the actor turned on the TV and found his mom giving a tour. “I call and I go, ‘Mom, what are you doing?’ She was like, ‘But he was such a nice guy’,” McConaughey, 46, tells PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly‘s editorial director for an exclusive video series, The Jess Cagle Interview.

“Now I can laugh about it, [but] back then I was like, ‘Hang on, let me figure this out first.’ ”

VIDEO: Matthew McConaughey on Free State of Jones, Career Reinventions and Building a Family

No hard feelings, of course. Like the good son that he is, McConaughey still calls K-Mac every Sunday.

Watch McConaughey’s full Jess Cagle Interview above.

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