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McConaughey earns accolades for portrayal of HIV+ homophobic rodeo cowboy

Sunday, September 8, 2013

TORONTO — The Toronto International Film Festival greeted Matthew McConaughey with a rousing standing ovation for his performance in “Dallas Buyers Club.”

The film premiered Saturday night, giving the moviegoing world its first glimpse of McConaughey’s highly-anticipated performance as a Texas man diagnosed with HIV in the 1980s.

Based on the true story of Ron Woodroof, the film follows his frustration with the Food and Drug Administration and his enterprising smuggling of more promising drugs.

Evan Agostini, Invision/AP
Actress Jennifer Garner, left, actor Matthew McConaughey, director Jean-Marc Vallee and actor Jared Leto at the premiere of “Dallas Buyers Club” at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival at The Princess of Wales Theatre on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013 in Toronto.

For the role, McConaughey lost nearly 50 pounds (22.5 kilograms), and appears startlingly gaunt throughout the film. After the film, though, McConaughey told the audience his weight loss wasn’t the hard part.

“That was the easy decision,” he said. “I would have been embarrassed standing here looking like I do now playing the guy. That really wouldn’t have worked.”

McConaughey’s performance as a hard-drinking, homophobic rodeo cowboy whose illness changes him in many ways for the better was immediately hailed as a sure bet for a best actor Oscar nomination.

Jared Leto portrays Rayon, a transgender woman in the film.

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Since sinking into a series of unremarkable romantic comedies, McConaughey has remade his career with a string of more ambitious work, including the male-stripper drama “Magic Mike” last year, and the coming-of-age-tale “Mud” earlier this year. He also co-stars in the upcoming Martin Scorsese film “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

“Matthew McConaughey is doing something spectacular with his life, with his career, and I wanted to be a part of that,” said Jared Leto, who also gives a stand-out performance as a drug-addicted transsexual. “He’s doing some of the most incredibly inspiring work. That was a huge part of my decision. I said, ‘If he’s willing to walk down this path, I gotta get in the ring with him. That’s somebody I want to dance with.’”

“Dallas Buyers Club” will be released Nov. 1.

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9 more reader comments:

  1. Yay! No more romantic comedies for McConaughey! Love him in more serious roles!

    Posted on Monday, September 9, 2013 at 12:23am
  2. Now let that man get his muscles back #tooskinny

    Posted on Monday, September 9, 2013 at 12:28am
  3. I love Matt; however, is that all it takes. It doesn’t take much for us, does it? And then were shocked when their caught saying something contrary.

    Posted on Monday, September 9, 2013 at 1:13am
  4. He really is a good actor. He just had to pay some bills.

    Posted on Monday, September 9, 2013 at 1:14am
  5. BTW: can’t wait to see this movie!!!! ;)

    Posted on Monday, September 9, 2013 at 1:14am
  6. Congratulations Matthew! Can’t wait to see, Dallas Buyers Club! Grandma Kay Jean McDonald

    Posted on Monday, September 9, 2013 at 3:50pm
  7. I want to see this one.

    Posted on Monday, September 9, 2013 at 5:30pm
  8. Hmm. I will have to check out his latest films. This one sounds interesting.

    Posted on Monday, September 9, 2013 at 6:18pm
  9. That movie looks amazing!

    Posted on Monday, September 9, 2013 at 7:04pm