McConaughey’s self inflicted winter

Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey refused to go out in the sun for six months while shooting Dallas Buyers Club.

Much has been made of the 44-year-old’s dramatic weight loss for the movie, in which he plays HIV positive Ron Woodruff. He shrunk to 131lbs. to portray the character, but made other sacrifices too.

Matthew loves the outdoors and is regularly pictured with a surfboard under his arm, but that had to stop while the cameras were rolling.

“This guy needed to be pale, so I didn’t go outside in the sun for six months. In the summer, I gave myself a winter,” he told Radio Times magazine.

The movie follows the true story of Ron, who began smuggling HIV medicine into the US after he couldn’t get hold of what he needed. It’s already garnered critical claim, with Matthew winning a best actor Oscar nomination and his co-star Jared Leto in the running for the best supporting actor gong.

Matthew slimmed down from 183lbs. for the part and although he didn’t find losing the weight hard, the changes to his lifestyle were more difficult to deal with.

“I had to relearn how to entertain myself, because I wasn’t going outside, I wasn’t going to dinner, I wasn’t going to social places. I was writing so much more, reading so much more. It ended up being this really fun adventure, internally,” he explained.

The star noticed his days seemed to stretch out in front of him. At one point he was living on a slice of chicken a day, plus diet coke and some egg whites.

“You have to re-program all of your habits, and the days get so long. You think it must be lunchtime already, and it’s only 9.30 in the morning,” he recalled.

“I kept a diary of my nutrition the whole way through, and it is something I will probably share at some point because it was quite the adventure.”

Dropping pounds wasn’t a wholly positive experience though. When Matthew got to 143lbs. his eye sight began to fail and he still experiences problems with that. He was also shocked out how weak he felt, explaining he would struggle to complete five push-ups.

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