Matthew McConaughey gives his best performance to date in Dallas Buyers Club, a film that sees him playing Ron Woodroof, a Texas cowboy diagnosed with HIV in 1986 and given 30 days to live. Not content with the FDA approved treatment known as AZT, Ron sets out to take control of his own fate as he starts smuggling in unapproved medication from all around the world. Ultimately, this leads to the formation of the titular club, which allows patients to receive Ron’s alternative HIV treatments if they have a membership. Of course, the FDA and big pharma aren’t too happy about this and Ron finds himself in the fight of his life.
During the Toronto International Film Festival back in September, we had the chance to sit down with McConaughey for a brief roundtable interview to discuss all things Dallas Buyers Club. The actor shed an astonishing 38 pounds to get into character and as he sat down with us to chat, it was apparent that he still hadn’t fully recovered from his transformation.
Looking significantly skinnier and scrawnier than usual, McConaughey chatted about how he took off the pounds, why he felt so compelled to tell Ron’s story, what it was like shooting on such a tight schedule and much more.
Check it out below and enjoy!
It looks like you’re almost back to the size that we normally see you at, are you sort of on the way back up?
Matthew McConaughey: I’ve been holding at this weight, 175, for about the last three months. But I usually walk around at 182.
How difficult was it to lose all that weight?
Matthew McConaughey: Once I got with the nutritionist I found out how many calories I needed and what the meals were going to be, and once I got that under control, it became pretty easy. I lost 47 pounds in total. I was eating more than you would think though. I was eating really health, just small amounts. I’d have 5oz of fish for lunch, a cup of vegetables along with my fish for dinner. I was having full meals. Eventually my body got the message that I just wasn’t going to feed it anymore.
What did your wife think about the weight loss?
Matthew McConaughey: She supports the work that I do. She’s probably happy that I’m back to the weight I’m at now, but she was in full support.
What was it about the script that really grabbed you?
Matthew McConaughey: Well I read it about three years before we made it and I just remember thinking that this project really had fangs. I didn’t get around to doing it for a while but I always kept the script on my desk, hoping that I’d have time to do it one day. It was an incredible story and what Ron did and accomplished was just so amazing.