Dallas Buyers Club: Matthew McConaughey And Jared Leto Are Transformed As HIV Patients

By Katey Rich 2013-08-27 07:38:25discussion comments
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Matthew McConaughey had so many strong performances last year, in so many different films, that it seemed possible to many of us that the actor could snag his first-ever Oscar nomination. It didn't work out-- and damn you, Academy, for not even bothering to nominate "Ladies of Tampa"-- but McConaughey is back this year with what might be his strongest role yet, in The Dallas Buyers Club. Some photos had already revealed McConaughey's rail-thin appearance to play an AIDS patient in the film, but you can see much more of it-- and what looks like a fascinating story-- in the first trailer above, dug up by The Film Stage. Of course, you have to suffer through another godforsaken Entertainment Tonight voiceover, but if you've been anticipating the film as much as I have, it's worth it.

And it's clear from this trailer alone that McConaughey could easily be overshadowed by another actor who also significantly changed his appearance for the role. Jared Leto, whom Nancy O'Dell reminds us weighed as little as 116 pounds during filming, is playing his most significant film role in years as Rayon, a fellow AIDS patient and trans* person who helps McConaughey's character organize the "Dallas Buyers Club," which smuggles in HIV treatment drugs from Mexico. Leto's emaciated physique made for some terrifying photos but already seems to be paying off here-- you see Rayon not just as an actor dressing up in women's clothes for a role, but as a genuinely scarred and sick human being. Leto's never been afraid to transform himself for roles in the past, packing on pounds to play John Lennon's assassin John David Chapman in Chapter 27. But with Dallas Buyers Club already garnering big buzz for his co-stars (even Jennifer Garner, who really deserves to be doing more than just being Batman's wife and starring in this nonsense), this could be Leto's first transformation that anybody actually sees.

Here's the official synopsis for the film, in case you've missed it:

In this fact-based drama, Matthew McConaughey portrays real-life Texas electrician Ron Woodroof, an ordinary man who found himself in a life-or-death battle with the medical establishment and pharmaceutical companies. In 1985, Ron was blindsided with an HIV diagnosis and given 30 days to live. With medications still restricted in the US and the country still divided over how to combat the virus, Ron procured non-toxic alternative treatments from all over the world through both legal and illegal means. To avoid government sanctions against selling non-approved medicines and supplements, Ron established a “buyers club” for fellow HIV-positive people, giving them access to his supplies.

We have a while yet to wait for Dallas Buyers Club, which doesn't arrive in theaters-- and still limited ones at that-- until November 1, which is at least sooner than the previous date of December 6. It's an exciting, crowded fall movie season coming up. Will Dallas Buyers Club get you in theaters? Sound off below.
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