Matthew McConaughey Reveals Diet For Extreme Dallas Buyers Club Weight Loss

Matthew McConaughey Reveals Diet For Extreme Dallas Buyers Club Weight Loss | Access Online

Matthew McConaughey transformed his fit physique into that of a gaunt HIV patient for his latest role in the critically acclaimed “Dallas Buyers Club.”

The actor shared with Access Hollywood how he managed to drop nearly 50 pounds.

“I ate a lot of fish, but only five ounces of it, and then a cup of vegetables,” Matthew told Access’ Scott “Movie” Mantz at a junket for the drama at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. “That would be twice a day.

The 43-year-old star, who co-stars with Jennifer Garner and Jared Leto in the movie, did get to eat a small breakfast and even indulge in “some wine at night”!

“People were like,’ You didn’t have wine.’ Oh yes I did!” Matthew said with a laugh.

His calorie-restricting food plan was not enough to drop the 47 pounds needed for his transformation – a strenuous exercise routine was also implanted initially.

“I started off doing a lot of exercise, burning 1,800 calories a day,” he said. “I had to do that for two weeks. My goal was to lose four pounds a week.

“So I was doing that for the first two weeks, lost eight pounds,” he continued. “And then I had a week where I had an injury and I couldn’t exercise, and I stayed on the same diet but I lost the same amount of weight. I was like oh, well hang on. Let me see if I can do this without exercise! And I lost the same amount of weight.”

Matthew said wife Camila’s support in the kitchen was instrumental in his weight loss.

“It helps to have a wife who’s preparing your meal,” he said. “And you don’t take any meetings out at the pizza joint or the buffet.”

“Dallas Buyers Club” his theaters on November 1.

— Erin O’Sullivan

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Matthew McConaughey in «Dallas Buyers Club»
Dallas Buyers Club trailer screencap

As the accolades continue to pile up for Matthew McConaughey for his role in the film «Dallas Buyers Club,» the 44-year-old is revealing a bit more about the extreme diet he embraced to play an emaciated HIV patient. His secret weapon? Pudding and a very small spoon. 

«I found tapioca pudding and I found the tiniest little antique spoon in New Orleans, a little bitty sugar spoon, and I would eat it with that so it would last longer,” he told reporters at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Saturday. «Oh it was great! I could make it last an hour.»

In an interview with the Daily Mirror last year, McConaughey revealed just how little beyond the pudding he consumed to go from «Magic Mike» ripped to «Dallas Buyers Club» frail — a loss of over 40 lbs. «It was tough going, I’m not going to lie,» he said. «The dieting was pretty hard-core. I was losing 7lbs every week. I’d have a Diet Coke, two egg whites in the morning, a piece of chicken, then another Diet Coke.»That was rough. I got down to [143lbs] and I was always hungry, and irritable. «My body resembled a baby bird with its mouth open, crying, ‘Feed me, feed me,’ and you realize momma bird ain’t going to feed you. It’s hard.”

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So far, the physical risk and amazing performance have paid off in the form of Best Actor honors from the Screen Actors Guild and the Golden Globes. McConaughey is also considered the front runner for the Best Actor Academy Award; for which he received a nomination last week. 

«There’s a magic place that we as actors can get, or we at least strive to get to. And you know we always don’t get there — but, boy, when we touch it, it’s magic,» he said while accepting his SAG award. 

Check out a trailer for «Dallas Buyers Club» below. 

Related on MNN: 

Skinny Matt McConaughey Talks Shocking Weight Loss

Before the five-week shoot kicked off Monday, the 43-year-old Magic Mike star told Hitfix, he «still [feels] good» in spite of his rail-thin appearance.

 «Overall, [I’ve] probably got 35 percent less energy, but there’s been plateaus,» McConaughey told the site. «Getting past 170 was really hard, but then once you get [to] 167 the next seven come off easy. Getting past 160, really hard. But then you fly down to 150. Getting past 150 was really hard and then, bam! Got down to 143 and that’s where I want to be. So, once you get past the plateau, your body seems to understand, ‘OK, this is where we’re leaving now, this is where we are’ and so the energy rises.»

So, how did he drop the pounds?

«I’m doing cardio but I’ll tell you what, the more I’ve learned is—and I think it comes with age too—is it’s 90 percent diet,» McConaughey went on. «It’s 90 percent amount and then what you’re eating because right now I’m not losing any more weight if I burn 1,500 calories, two hours of cardio in an afternoon, or if I don’t. It doesn’t matter. It’s a matter of how much I eat or how little I eat.» 

McConaughey: ‘I became almost hyper’

Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers ClubImage copyrightFocus Features
Image caption
Matthew McConaughey is up for best actor at this year’s Oscars for Dallas Buyers Club

Matthew McConaughey talks about the unexpected side effects of his drastic weight loss for his Oscar-nominated role as an Aids patient in Dallas Buyers Club.

When Texan rodeo-riding electrician Ron Woodroof was diagnosed with HIV in 1985, aged 35, he was given 30 days to live.

He died seven years later, due to complications from Aids, in September 1992.

«Through pure rage and by any means necessary this guy did what he had to do to self-preserve and stay alive,» says Matthew McConaughey, who shed nearly 3st 7lb (47lb; 21kg) to play Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club.

«He broke the law, he smuggled things in and he became basically a black-market drug dealer.»

The film, directed by Jean-Marc Vallee, is based on Woodroof’s real-life experiences. In the month before his death, Woodroof told screenwriter Craig Borten his story for a film that would ultimately take almost 20 years to get made.

Dallas Buyers Club refers to the private members’ group that Woodroof and fellow Aids patient Rayon, an invented transgender character played by Jared Leto, established in order to provide alternative — and unauthorised — treatments sourced from abroad. The club was the subject of frequent raids by the police and Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

«Ron didn’t find a magic cure that kept people alive,» says McConaughey. «The drugs that he was selling were keeping people alive longer and they were having healthier lifestyles while they were alive.»

Both McConaughey and Leto are up for Oscars and considered to be frontrunners in their respective categories (best actor and best supporting actor).

Much attention has focused on the huge amount of weight that both actors lost for their roles. McConaughey «chewed a lot of ice» while he got himself down to 10 stone for the majority of the shoot.

Image copyrightfocus features
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Both Jared Leto (left) and McConaughey (right) lost weight for their roles

«I did it in as healthy a way as I found possible,» he says.

«I met with a nutritionist. I gave myself four months to lose the weight. I had my programmed meals, lost 3.5lb a week — like clockwork — and got down to my desired weight, which turned out to be 47lb lighter.»

Were there any unexpected side effects?

«The surprise was how the energy that I lost from the neck down transferred to the neck up. I became clinically aware, almost hyper, I needed three hours less sleep a night.

«I had an amazing amount of energy from the head up. That was something I didn’t know was going to happen.»

According to McConaughey, a similar thing had happened to Ron. «His body was withering away, but from the neck up he was like a starving baby eagle — and he was just savagely clinging to life. He was literally, and figuratively, hungry.»

To help him get into character, McConaughey had access to Borten’s taped interviews with Woodroof. «He would sound like a medical expert or a scientist, and then he would slip in a conspiracy theory and then he would tell a joke, and then lose his train of thought.»

The actor also met Woodroof’s family, who allowed him to read Ron’s diary from pre-1985.

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Media captionMatthew McConaughey: «This kind of character doesn’t come along, doesn’t cross an actor’s desk, very often»

«There was the man alone on Saturday night before he had HIV, and that was my secret weapon. That gave me the monologue so I could go and have the dialogue [in the film].

«His family was very honest with me about who he was. They didn’t try to sugar-coat this man.»

With this year’s Oscars under a month away, McConaughey — along with actress Amy Adams — is in the unusual position of appearing in two films up for best picture.

As well as Dallas Buyers Club he has a scene-stealing turn as a chest-beating stockbroker in The Wolf of Wall Street. (Adams is in American Hustle and Her.)

How does he feel about his recent run of success? «Well, it feels great. I’m excited about it. I’m proud of the films I’ve been able to be in — from The Wolf of Wall Street to Mud to Dallas Buyers Club.»

He calls it a «minor miracle» that Dallas Buyers Club got made at all. It was shot in 25 days for the relatively small budget of $4.9m. Nominated for six Oscars in total, it’s already made more than $22m in the US.

«It’s vital,» says McConaughey, «it has translated, it has communicated with people, it’s become personal with people. That’s something I’m very proud of.»

Dallas Buyers Club is out in the UK and Ireland on 7 February.

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