IT might only be February but it’s already shaping up to be Matthew McConaughey’s year.
There’s been his scene-stealing cameo in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf Of Wall Street, as well as a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award and an Oscar nomination for his role as a homophobic Aids patient in Dallas Buyers Club.
It’s been a whirl of red carpet events which, as glamorous as they are, can be long, drawn out affairs. Thankfully, he has his Dallas co-star and fellow Oscar nominee, Jared Leto, on hand with a few snacks. “Oh, he has bags of popcorn. He comes in with grocery bags of things so I’ve been partaking in a few of those,” says McConaughey, grinning, and looking toned and tanned in jeans, a tight grey T-shirt and leather jacket.
He also lives by one rule – keep a clear head.
“I like wine but if I’m presenting, then I do it after that. I actually like to hit the stage without anything, but after that, I always have a glass,” says the 44-year-old in his Texan drawl.
He’ll want a clear head for the Academy Awards on March 2, as he’s in with a strong chance of walking off with the golden statuette.
“I wasn’t looking for a result but I did know when I read the script that this could be something special, and it’s the kind of story that if we pulled it off, was something that could get recognition.”
It’s based on the true tale of Ron Woodroof who, in 1985, was diagnosed with HIV and given 30 days to live.
The condition had already been ravaging the nation’s gay community and Woodroof, a womanising, rodeo-riding electrician, was one of millions who saw Aids as “that gay disease”.
Ostracised by friends and co-workers following his diagnosis, Woodroof was determined to survive and became a walking encyclopaedia of anti-viral meds, pharmaceutical trials, Food And Drug Administration (FDA) regulations and court decisions.
He not only survived for seven years but helped save lives by establishing a way in which HIV-positive people could access his alternative treatments – through the Dallas Buyers Club.
It’s a tour-de-force performance, and one which required McConaughey, to lose 47lbs.
“It was hard but, as an actor, to have something that you can give your full singular focus and commitment to for six months was wonderful,”