Matthew McConaughey shows a whole new side of himself in his upcoming film "Dallas Buyers Club."
In the movie, in theaters on Nov. 1, McConaughey plays Ron Woodroof, a defiant Dallas native who is told by doctors he is going to die in 30 days after contracting the then-taboo HIV disease. The film also stars Jennifer Garner and Jared Leto. The actor, like McConaughey, also underwent an extreme physical transformation for his role -- also an AIDS patient.
McConaughey sat down with OTRC.com recently to talk about his role, how he was able to relate to the role through people in his own life and how his family reacted to his shocking weight loss, which, according to People magazine, totaled 50 pounds.
Watch a video of OTRC.com's interview with McConaughey above and check out three questions from the sit-down below.
1. Did you find yourself kind of being how Ron was when you were researching the role?
"In hindsight, there were a lot of things I was doing, not just for the research for him, but a lot of things I started questioning and getting into trying to get behind the curtain government wise that I noticed I was like, 'oh, I wouldn't have done this before' but it's happening in my real life. But I had plenty of research with this guy and it was fun research."
"The guy was not all just medical talk, the way this guy approached it and the way he understood it, it was all like an investigation for me. And he figured it out. Here was a guy who was a two-bit electrician with a seventh grade education who becomes a scientist, becomes an expert on this disease that was threatening to take his life and a lot of other people's. That's a great story in and of itself."
2. Could you relate to his "I'm going to see what else is out there" attitude in regards to being told you're going to die in 30 days?
"It's definitely a situation of, you know, you've got nothing to lose. He had nothing to lose. His life, but I mean he was like, 'he was given 30 days, okay well watch this.' Some people need the opposition to really come alive and fight, I definitely understand that."
"I've got some friends that have moved on, people I knew, acquaintances that have moved on from HIV, I've got a close friend who was going through a fight with cancer through this time, there was a lot that was very Ron-like of him as his physical side was demising, you could see spirit emerging more, coming out, he was almost ferocious about it. So I saw that happen a little bit first hand."
3. Was your physical transformation jarring to you when you first saw it?
"No, because it was gradual for me. So I was living with it every day, the family was living with it every day so it wasn't really jarring because it was gradual. When I'd see people that hadn't seen me in months, there was shock on their faces. Seeing the movie, I was happy and I didn't know but I was happy after that first scene, in the bull stall, that I was on board, I was on board with Ron Woodroff, I was on board with the story and I wasn't seeing myself going, 'wow, you look like a reptile.'"
Reporting by Cari Skillman of KABC Television, which produces the nationally syndicated entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).