Physical Transformation in “Dallas Buyers Club”

Dallas Buyers Club

Matthew Mcconaughey’s performance as the true life Ronnie Woodruff is a stunning physical transformation. We know Mcconaughey can act. He’s excellent in films like “Bernie,” “Mud,” and “Killer Joe.” What he’s most known for publicly is his outstanding physique; he’s finished triathlons, and People magazine dubbed him the Sexiest Man Alive in 2005. But in his role as a HIV/AIDS patient, he somehow lost 39 pounds to be 143 pounds at six feet tall. His onscreen persona clearly looks like a man with a bad illness that becomes much worse as the movie progresses

There’s also the physical transformation of Jared Leto, who plays a transgendered AIDS patient. No other scene personifies this point than when Leto’s character puts on a suit when meeting with her strictly conservative father. Leto’s face is frail and bland without makeup, and the suit looks like a formality, not something she wears well. In a different scene, she would rather wear a dress, her skinny shoulders bare.

Many actors have gone to physical extremes to win Academy Awards; Christian Bale in “The Figher” or Natalie Portman in “Black Swan.” In Hollywood, it’s hard to believe that people in the industry actually look past acting and reward such physical accomplishment. Expect Matthew Mcconaughey to win the Oscar for best acting in a leading role if not mostly because he transformed his body unequivocally to fit a sympathetic roll.


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