Dallas Buyers Club

Dallas Buyers Club Poster

Dallas Buyers Club is a 2013 American biographical drama film directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and written by Craig Borten and Melisa WallackMatthew McConaughey stars as the real-life AIDS patient Ron Woodroof, who smuggled unapproved pharmaceutical drugs into Texas when he found them effective at improving his symptoms, and distributed them to fellow sufferers by establishing the "Dallas Buyers Club" while facing opposition from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The performances of McConaughey and Jared Leto, who respectively earned the Academy Award for Best Actor and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, making this the first film sinceMystic River (2003), and only the fifth movie to win both awards. 

Woodroof was the subject of a lengthy 1992 article in The Dallas Morning News written by journalist and author Bill Minutaglio. A month before Woodroof died in September 1992, screenwriter Craig Borten interviewed him to create the screenplay; Borten recorded many hours of interviews with Woodroof and had access to his personal journals. Borten drafted 10 different scripts for what he believed would make a great movie and attempted to attract interest in making the film in the mid 1990s, with Dennis Hopper to direct and Woody Harrelson as Woodroof, but the film was unable to secure financial backing. Jared Leto has admitted that he was sent a script but never read it.

In the late 1990s, Marc Forster was approached to direct and Brad Pitt was to play the role of Ron, but script and personnel delays kept the film from being produced and both Pitt and Forster eventually moved on. Dallas Buyers Club, by 2008, had become Hollywood's longest stalled script when director Craig Gillespie and Ryan Gosling were then in talks with the producers until Jean-Marc Vallée and Matthew McConaughey signed up. Woodroof's sister was reportedly pleased with the casting of McConaughey as Ron Woodroof because he had a similar swagger and personality. She had shown concern earlier in the development process when Pitt and Gosling were attached, due to their personalities not matching Woodroof's.

McConaughey lost 47 pounds (21 kg) for the role, going from 183 pounds (83 kg) to 136 pounds (62 kg). He reportedly stayed indoors in his Texas mansion for six months to become paler and ceased socializing and had to find new ways to entertain himself, which made him "smarter". When he reached as low as 143 lbs, his eyesight began to fail. He began to feel extremely weak to the point that he'd be sore from doing five push-ups and his legs would lock up after running 30 feet. Leto lost over 30 pounds (14 kg) for the role and confessed to having stopped eating to lose weight quicker; his lowest record weight was 114 pounds (52 kg).

Principal photography began in New OrleansLouisiana in mid-2012. Jennifer Garner has stated that the film was shot very quickly over just 25 days and has remarked that McConaughey "gave an even wilder performance in takes that didn't appear onscreen". McConaughey stated that "I was riding a new way of making a film. There were no lights, one camera, 15-minute takes."