Is that really Matthew McConaughey in this set photo from The Dallas Buyer's Club?
Some actors will go to extremes physically to get themselves ready for a role. There are several examples like Christian Bale in THE MACHINIST, 50 Cent in THINGS FALL APART, and Charlize Theron in MONSTER. Another actor is joining their ranks-- Matthew McConaughey.
In THE DALLAS BUYER'S CLUB, McConaughey plays the role of Ron Woodroof, "a tough Texas electrician who was diagnosed with AIDS in 1986 and given six months to live. Unwilling to accept the doctors diagnosis Woodruff became frustrated by the lack of medical options. He found alternative drugs that created a lucrative smuggling business and made those same drugs available to other AIDS patients. However Woodruff died in 1992."
In the set photo below, the actor looks extremely frail and very unlike his usual fit self. In a recent interview with Larry King, McConaughey said this on the physical toll, "It takes a while for your body to understand that it has to feed off of itself and that you’re not going to give it something else from the outside."
The difference was also quite noticeable when McConaughey was on the set of Martin Scorsese's next, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET. It's crazy the lengths that some actors will go, but at times it does have serious payoffs like an Academy Award in some cases. Also, nice career turnaround for McConaughey.