Matthew McConaughey, who first gained attention for his breakout role in Dazed and Confused, is known for his dedication to his craft.
The 44-year-old Texan easily vanishes into whatever role he plays, whether it’s a criminal defense lawyer operating his practice out of a Lincoln Town car in The Lincoln Lawyer, a police officer moonlighting as a contract killer in Killer Joe, a strip bar owner who clashes with his star stripper in Magic Mike, or an overconfident, eccentric and jaded stockbroker in The Wolf of Wall Street.
This year, Matthew is nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture-Drama for his performance as Ron Woodroof, the homophobic, drug-addicted rodeo cowboy who was diagnosed with AIDS and given 30 days to live in Dallas Buyers Club.
For the role, Matthew lost 47 pounds. His diet consisted of a lot of fish and vegetables in the morning with tapioca pudding. He told the HFPA, “I went and saw a nutritionist before I did it and I gave myself four months to do it. I understood what kind of meals I was going to have and I just ate controlled meals, stayed inside [the house] so I did not take any meetings at my favorite steak house or anything. I basically became a bit of a hermit for four months. I lost like 3½ pounds a week and got down to the weight I wanted to get to, stopped there and then boom, we did the movie in 27 days. So when we started, I got down to 135 and I just stayed there through the thing. I didn’t really run into any health issues.”
“The main thing is,” he added, “I think because I lost so much power and leverage from the waist down, I found that it actually made from here [indicating from the waist up] my mind sharper. So energy wise, I only needed three hours of sleep a night which was surprising. As I told my friends, I said, ‘now’s a good time to wrestle me. Or wait before I get back to 182 pounds again.’”
People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” in 2005, Matthew can easily turn romantic, charming and funny as he did in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, The Wedding Planner or in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.
He will be seen next in Christopher Nolan’s upcoming travel science fiction film, Interstellar, which features a team of space travelers who travel through a wormhole. It is set for release on November 7, 2014.
Asked how he chooses his roles, Matthew explained, “They are all my decisions but some of these things found me like Paper Boy, Killer Joe and Magic Mike. They found me at a time when I was not doing really anything. I took a pause to wait for some new work and get inspired by some things. I am enjoying it. Many of these guys are anti-heroes. The great thing about the anti-heroes is that they make their own rules. It is a whole lot of fun.”
“They create their own form. I am really enjoying where my imagination goes with them, trying to keep them human without becoming caricatures. In many ways, in those characters, there is a lot of truth to how people are and how you live so I am quite enjoying it. I am having really wonderful experience. The experience I am having as an actor is so vital right now for me.”
Janet R. Nepales