In 2014, Matthew McConaughey won his first Oscar after starring in the 2013 biopic, Dallas Buyers Club. Directed by the late filmmaker, Jean Marc Valle, the film follows the story of an AIDS patient Ron Woodroof, who smuggles unapproved pharmaceutical drugs into Texas for his treatment.
But aside from The Wedding Planner actor’s emotional portrayal of Woodrof, he also drew attention for losing 50 pounds for the role. Here’s how McConaughey did it safely, unlike his co-star, Jared Leto who got to 114 pounds in the unhealthiest way.
How Did Matthew McConaughey Lose 50 Pounds For ‘Dallas Buyers Club’?
In October 2020, McConaughey told Joe Rogan that he didn’t starve himself to lose 50 pounds for Dallas Buyers Club.
“I did not torture myself. I was militant. The hardest part was making the damn choice,” he explained, noting that he ate nothing but fish, egg whites, tapioca pudding, and “as much wine as I wanted to drink.”
“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 previously told reporters at the 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards, adding that he rarely worked out during that time.
“It didn’t matter if I was going to the treadmill and burning 2,000 calories a day or not, 2.5 pounds a week.”
During his conversation with Rogan, the How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days star also said that losing 50 pounds was his “responsibility” at that time. “It was my responsibility,” he said. “If I looked how I look now and played Ron Woodroof from Dallas Buyers Club, you are out of the movie the first frame.”
How Matthew McConaughey Gained His Weight Back After ‘Dallas Buyers Club’
In November 2013, McConaughey spoke to Roger Ebert and confessed that it was tough gaining his weight back after filming Dallas Buyers Club.
“It’s a little more dangerous than dropping it. Dropping it, there was a system,” he said of gaining his weight back. “Four pounds a week and it goes straight down. Yeah, I’m hungry but this is what I’m doing. Coming back, the digestive has to get back in shape again.”
He continued: “This is the most interesting part. The first time I ate a regular meal, my body immediately remembered, ‘Oh, we live at 182.’ So it wants to sprint back. And you just have to pull the reins and go ease off and eat more healthy. But the first time I ate a meal the size I used to eat at 182, it immediately remembered. I could feel it. My diet has changed. It’s not like it is before. On purpose.”
In the same interview, McConaughey also addressed the controversial story of the film.
“It’s an independent movie about HIV. OK, it’s going to be important. It’s going to be good medicine, right?” he said. “It doesn’t even have to be entertaining and usually it won’t be. But I think we made it an entertaining one, too.”
What Matthew McConaughey Feels About His First Oscar Win
Speaking to Roger Ebert before his Oscar nomination for Dallas Buyers Club, McConaughey said that it was never a career goal for him.
“It’s not necessarily something on my bucket list. But if something like that were to happen, nominations or whatever, it would make me extremely happy and proud,” he shared.
Months later, he won the Oscar for Best Actor and gave us one of the most iconic acceptance speeches ever.
“Every day, every week, every month and every year of my life, my hero’s always 10 years away. I’m never gonna be my hero,” he said at that time.
“I’m not gonna attain that. I know I’m not, and that’s just fine with me because that keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing.” He even concluded his speech with his famous catchphrase from his breakout film, Dazed and Confused: “To that I say, ‘Alright, alright, alright.’ To that I say ‘just keep living.’ Thank you.”
Before that, he also thanked his self-made millionaire wife Camila Alves, and their four kids.
“The courage you give me every time I walk through the door is unparalleled,” he said. “You are the four people in my life that I want to make the most proud of me. Thank you.”