Matthew McConaughey Shedding Pounds To Play HIV Patient On Screen

Either Matthew McConaughey is very, very sick … or the actor has gone full Method is preparation for The Dallas Buyer’s Club, an upcoming drama that challenges the handsome A-lister to play HIV victim Ron Woodroof.

TMZ nabbed the candid shot of an alarmingly thin McConaughey as he reportedly preps for director Jean-Marc Vallee’s movie. Which currently is in pre-production. Take a look:

That Magic Mike physique is out the window, isn’t it? It kind of has to be. Woodroof – if you don’t know his story – was an electrician who contracted AIDS, and was told by his doctors to give up hope and await the inevitable. He didn’t. Instead, he explored the covert world of underground pharmacies that dole out experimental (but effective) HIV drugs that aren’t approved in the U.S. The true-story narrative should lead to an inspiring story of strength and determination. And McConaughey, from the looks of the picture, is giving a lot of what he has to the role.

Not that we should be too surprised at this point. McConaughey is a long way off of the pretty boy who sleepwalked through featherweight rom-coms decades ago. Recently, the actor has been challenging himself – and his image – by collaborating with gifted directors like Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street), Richard Linklater (Bernie) and William Friedkin (Killer Joe), to name just a few. He’s not quite De Niro in Raging Bull, see-sawing his weight to keep up with the role. But this photo is reminiscent of Tom Hanks in Philadelphia, who sacrificed his movie-star looks to show the damage HIV can do on a human’s body.

Dallas co-stars Gael Garcia Bernal, and is filming now for a 2013 release.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.