Matthew McConaughey: ‘I’ve lost 38 pounds, I feel good now… it’s 90 percent diet’

As we’ve discussed a few times now, Matthew McConaughey has lost a lot of weight over the past few months. He was doing it on purpose – he’s playing a man dying of AIDS in The Dallas Buyer’s Club. That’s also why he’s got a big mustache too – the story takes place in the 1980s. Matthew hasn’t said a lot about his weight loss or his new career trajectory, in which all of sudden Matthew suddenly seems to be picking interesting roles in good films. But Matthew just sat down for a new interview with HitFix to discuss his crazy weight loss, what he wants to eat when he’s finally done filming The Dallas Buyer’s Club, and what he thinks about his Oscar buzz for Magic Mike (for real!). You can read the whole piece here, and here are some highlights:

How much weight he’s really lost: “I’ve lost 38 pounds. I feel good now. Overall, probably got 35 percent less energy, but there’s been plateaus, like getting past 170 was really hard, but then once you get [to] 167 the next seven come off easy. Getting passed 160, really hard. But then you fly down to 150. Getting passed 150 was really hard and then, bam! Got down to 143 and that’s where I want to be. So, once you get passed the plateau, your body seems to understand, ‘O.K., this is where we’re leaving now, this is where we are’ and so the energy rises.”

How he lost the weight: “I’m doing cardio but I’ll tell you what, the more I’ve learned is – and I think it comes with age too – is it’s 90 percent diet. It’s 90 percent amount and then what you’re eating because right now I’m not losing any more weight if I burn 1,500 calories, two hours of cardio in an afternoon, or if I don’t. It doesn’t matter. It’s a matter of how much I eat or how little I eat.”

He’s less hungry now: “Oh, yeah. Even if I’m lying to myself, you know. Your organs [and] muscles shrink, your organs shrink [and] my stomach has shrunk as well. So, as much as I can’t wait to have that cheeseburger on the day [shooting ends] it’ll probably be damn hard to eat the whole thing. When that day comes, and it’s coming, I don’t want to be doing this interview at a Pizza Hut buffet, you know? I choose to pick my places where there’s less good smells and temptations, you know? That’s really nice.”

When MM finishes the film, he wants a po boy first, then a cheeseburger: “I will have some 70 percent beef, 30 percent fat ground beef, maybe a half pound cheeseburger with another three types of cheese. I’ll prepare it all and I’ll make sure that it takes three hours just to prepare. I’m going to have buns with butter on both sides, toasted and grilled. I’m going to melt the cheese on the top bun, Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise. I want kosher dill pickles sliced nice and thin, diced white onions, slightly grilled until they get almost hard, and some thin jalapeno slices. And then I’m just going to sit back and let the [expletive] just drop on the ground.”

On his Magic Mike character, Dallas: “He didn’t consider himself a villain. He’s a poet capitalist who’s looking out for number one first.”

On the Oscar buzz for Best Supporting for his role in Magic Mike: “Well, I mean, definitely excited. It’s exciting. This is the first time I’ve been flown into Los Angeles to do interviews specifically about being a contender as a supporting actor. That’s a new thing and that’s something I’m like, ‘Yeah, right on.’ And it was a role that allowed for that sort of real identity in the form of an expression. It was a wild ride of a guy. It was on the page [and I] had a lot of help creating this guy and bringing him to life. I’m glad it resonated and translated because Dallas is a life force of his own, and he’s not someone – he’s not who I am. But he was sure fun to get in those leathers with.”

[From Hit Fix]

I hate to admit it, but I kind of think he deserves an Oscar nomination for Magic Mike too. He was really, seriously good in that movie. And he’s right, I don’t think he was playing the villain either. Now, do I think he should actually WIN an Oscar for Magic Mike? Probably not. But I would enjoy it if he was nominated.

Here are some newish photos from the set of The Dallas Buyer’s Club earlier this week.

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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69 Responses to “Matthew McConaughey: ‘I’ve lost 38 pounds, I feel good now… it’s 90 percent diet’”

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  1. Summer says:


  2. Bored suburbanhousewife says:

    Didnt he used to be super hot?

  3. emmie_a says:

    I want that cheeseburger he described. That sounds soo good!

  4. Adrien says:

    Only 38 lbs? I thought he lost more. He looks like Freddie Mercury.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      God, yes. It’s the razor sharp jaw and the neck and … everything. I think it’s the dramatic change from healthy and extroverted (at least when performing) to gaunt and ill-looking that made me think of Freddie as well. Ugh, I want to see this movie but I don’t think it will be pleasant.

  5. MrsBPitt says:

    If I saw him walking down the street, I would never know that was MM…

  6. carrie says:

    he starts too soon his Oscar campaign for the next year

  7. Mew says:

    He looks totally unrecognizable. Wow..

  8. Velouria says:

    Well, if he ever becomes a junkie, at least we will have these pictures to come back and refer to.

  9. logan says:

    Oh Matthew, Matthew as soon as this is over women all over the world are hoping, praying that you return to your natural beefy self.

  10. dorothy says:

    Love him, but worry that this will forever damage his body and system. Extremes are not a good thing, even for the sake of art.

    • Esmom says:

      Yes. And it’s hard to imagine he even has the stamina for a film shoot. Or “two hours of cardio.” He looks like he could collapse at any moment and go into cardiac arrest or something.

      • V4Real says:

        I really adore Matt, I think he’s super hot (um not here though)but a supporting oscar for Magic Mike; I have to mull that over. Well okay as long as Tatum is not up for Best Actor.

        But as far as the weight loss it is a little dramatic. I also hope there isn’t any long time damage. But let’s not forget Christian Bale went through a dramatic weight loss twice for The Machinist and The Fighter and he seems to be okay; as far as we know.

        I’m sure Matt will get that kick ass body back in no time.

    • Suzanne says:

      I don’t have scientific data to back my statement..but I did know two friends who had intentional, dramatic weight losses..over a short period of time. Not long after…they both had health issues..(one developed cancer…the other had a heart attack) and both died within a year of the weight loss. I never forgot that and caution anyone not to lose too much…too fast.

  11. Esmom says:

    Interesting how he describes the weight loss, almost like an out-of-body experience.

  12. Geoffry says:

    I like him, he takes suppoeting roles in films to be on a good project,with a good cast (Tropc Thunder) he did tv Sex and the City when a lot of film actors at his level would have steered clear of tv. He takes smaller films which end up making bank, MagicMike. He is a smart actor, he didn’t let the initial public relations that he was going to be the second coming, go to his head, and when his films flopped at the box office he didn’t go all Mikey Rourke in letting his ego make him think he should always be leading man, he is leading man, but he will take a lesser role to the lead or he will share the lead and he now has a nice wife and lovely children. He is a smart guy, he has grown up a lot and not fallen into many hollywood traps and it appears that he is really trying to earn respect as an actor. I like that. He’s a nice man.

  13. Victoria1 says:

    I outweigh him. I hope he gets his po’boy and his burger soon

  14. Jackson says:

    Is Magic Mike any good? It just seemed like some dumb fluff piece. Maybe I’ll have to watch it now.

    I love how he described that cheeseburger and I don’t even eat meat. You know a man is hungry when he’s got the lean-to-fat ratio already decided upon.

    • V4Real says:

      It’s what you’ll expect from a typical movie about male strippers; sex, drugs, conflicts, you know, all the works. I think most women liked it because Channing Tatum was the star. Let’s not forget he was a stripper before he became a Hollywood actor and the movie is in relation to some aspect of his life except in the real world he was the one who was taking under the wings of the real Magic Mike.

      Not to go off topic here but it just dawned on me that Tatum was a stripper before he became an actor and women love him. But over on the Joe Manganiello post he and his girlfriend were being ripped apart because she is/was a bourlesque dancer or stripper. Boy and we talk about Hollywood double standards but I think we also go along with it depending on who the actors/actresses are.

      • Me Too says:

        So true on the double standard for men and women!

        Have to say I’m not a Channing fan. Didn’t know he was a male stripper…that at least is a bit interesting because I find him soooooo boring and over rated as an actor. He’s been the same in every movie I’ve ever seen, comedy or serious. And while his abs are nice, that face kills it for me! Don’t like guys with slitty eyes!

      • rose says:

        Yet he is not boring at all. His interviews are hilarious.>> fav interview but then again they were drunk in this interview. lolHe’s very self aware. He even mock his own acting but say he trying to improve. Like Laniey Gossip says he’s not trying to be daniel day lewis. He stick to roles that goes with he range.

        i can understand ur opinion.

  15. TheOriginalKitten says:

    It really is all about diet. It’s super-hard to lose that much weight, especially when you’re already in good shape/thin to begin with. You essentially have to starve yourself, you can’t just work it off at the gym.

    I’m happy to see him chosing more diverse roles. I’ve loved him since he played Wooderson in Dazed and Confused and always thought he was WAY too talented for all the shitty Rom Coms he was starring in.

    • The Original Tiffany says:

      So true. I now have to starve to lose. Working out just adds tone, not weight loss.

      Everyone at Cirque says it is 90/10 diet/exercise. Everyone-they watch diet more than working out!

      I am glad he is taking these roles because I am not a big rom-con fan, only when my daughter tortures me through one…

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        I have a couple friends who are ALWAYS at the gym but never lose weight and they can’t understand why. It’s that old misconception of “I worked out today so I can eat a pizza.” Actually, no. If you still take in more calories than you burn, you won’t lose weight. You need to create a calorie DEFICIT. It’s a numbers game.

        Do the Cirque members tell you what their diet is, Tiff? If so, please share!

      • Me Too says:

        Have to respectfully disagree. Maybe it depends on body type and metabolism but over the past two years I’ve lost 200 pounds. I’m in his age range and a woman to boot. Yeah, it’s been hard but I definitely couldn’t do it with a low cal diet and no exercise. I lose when I watch what I eat AND exercise.

        Think the Cirque folks are already in such good shape and spending hours a day exercising for a living that they don’t look at how much movement is affecting their weight.

        Matthew was in good physical shape and probably naturally a very active guy. His body was at a good set point for him so naturally, the only way he could force it to lose more than what is healthy is to starve himself. For someone who is actually overweight, just eating a low cal diet isn’t going to cut it. You have to move.

        I hope this movie is worth it to him because, when he starts regaining the weight, it’s likely to go to different places. Understand he did it for work but it is so unhealthy for a person to basically starve themselves then eat again.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Right. But the difference is that you were already at least 200 lbs overweight to begin with. My point was simply that if you are a relatively active person and thin/fit to begin with, you will NOT drop the 10-15 lbs of extra weight without severely modifying your diet, period.

        Between walking and running I average 12-14 miles a day. I’m normal weight, around 118 and I STILL eat psychotically healthy but I get enough calories to maintain my weight. I’ve been down to 105 and the only thing I did differently was restrict my caloric intake. But if it was only exercise that could make me lose weight, then with my diet and the 95 miles I average a week, I would be effin’ emaciated right now. And I’m not ;)

        Congrats on the weight loss by the way-that’s amazing! You must feel great :)

      • The Original Tiffany says:

        The really strict ones eat super healthy. Not hard, the kitchen sets everything up with signs that point to how healthy the dish is. Some eat, veggies, hard boiled eggs, and fruit. Most eat organic, high protein, low carb, whole grain, etc. Whole foods, no sugar.
        I have lost lots of weight over the last few years, but the last 25 pounds was totally diet. I was already walking/working out constantly and not using a car.

        I did it by cutting out sugar, processed food and bread. No late night food, no cereal, no crap. Diet is preached all the time at Cirque. Even the school kids are required to eat healthy. As in fish or chicken and veggies at lunch and two treats per week. I have been off my normal diet this week and feel like crap.

        You cannot get thin with exercise alone. A good workout only is going to burn a few hundred calories, you HAVE to restrict your diet. I’m not talking no food, but strict on what goes in your mouth. Our latest female hoop dancer came in last year and has lost over 20 pounds with diet. She doesn’t work out any more than at home, but no junk in her diet.

  16. HadleyB says:

    I am not sure his face will ever recover from this .. he was cute ( not hot with the weight on) but even Christian Bale doesn’t recover as he used to and he’s a bit younger than Matt.

    But I guess if you want an Oscar …

  17. judyjudy says:

    He was awesome in Magic Mike. He stole the show, IMO .

    Thin or beefed up, I don’t care. I could listen to him talk all ding-dong day.

  18. ladybert62 says:

    It looks to me like he has lost more than 38 pounds – I would say 58 is closer to it.

    He looks horrible.

  19. Sara says:

    He will never get his facial fat pads back. He had a slender face to begin with. This will no doubt age him ten years even when he gains back the weight.

  20. vic says:

    I’m sorry. He’s good looking but I’ve always thought he looked a little sleazy.

  21. Miss says:

    Wow. He’s the real deal. As if it was possible to like him even more.

  22. janie says:

    HitFix, it’s “past” not “passed” ughhhhh.

  23. Chrissie Malcolm says:

    I think he’s going to struggle to re-gain the muscle tone he used to have – he’s gone way too extreme. At his age when you lose condition it is EXTREMELY difficult to regain it. Nothing is worth putting your body through the abuse he has, absolutely nothing. I hope he’s being medically supervised.

  24. Happy21 says:

    I love him. Have since Dazed and Confused. Its not even about how good looking he is, its the voice…ah…

    He looks awful here and I hope that this role pays off for him.

    As far as the Oscar nod (or possibility of one), I’m on the fence. He was awesome in Magic Mike (by far better than ANYONE else in that movie) but I really felt that he wasn’t even acting, that he was just kind of being his sexy self. I guess we’ll see when the noms come out if he gets a nomination :)

  25. Nancy says:

    magic mike was awful…don’t get they hype. matthew was okay in it, but no great acting was required for this movie. really. very forgettable movie.

  26. Mira says:

    I’m vegetarian but I want to eat that damn cheeseburger! He’s so wonderfully descriptive.

    He’s right about dieting but I guess it depends on body type. I have to strictly watch my diet AND exercise to shed pounds. I have lost 13 pounds and I still have to lose 26 more. I can only do it with a strict diet and exercise. Just exercise does nothing. I don’t gain weight but I don’t lose either. I run 5K three times a week, play badminton twice a week and hit the gym – cardio and weights – twice a week and yet, I don’t shed a f-cking gram if I don’t watch my diet. About diet, it’s not that I gorge on food. I eat three meals a day and I don’t snack. I don’t eat chocolates and I don’t like anything with sugar – no cakes, muffins etc. Still I have to be strict about the three meals and only then I lose weight. I have the worst body type. It’s a lot of hard work :(

    • mytbean says:

      THIS sounds so familiar. No increase in any particular type of exercise made a difference. But caloric restriction made me want to eat my own arms… especially at night!

      Forever I’d watched calories, sugar, carbs, etc… but then, for medical reasons, I started watching fat and decided to go vegetarian – not vegan – (I still eat lean fish like Talapia and some shell fish like boiled shrimp). And the weight started pouring off! It was insane! I’d never really been a big fat eater to begin with but I lowered mine to about 15-20 grams a day while taking an Omega 3 supplement three times daily to keep things healthy. I lost those stubborn 30 lbs that nothing else would make a ding in.

      If watching sugar and carbs and/or overall calories don’t work – maybe try a vegetarian super low-fat change? There are so many low-fat alternatives to foods that I don’t miss my old life and my current weight, condition has been effortless to maintain… I’ll never go back.

  27. supervisor says:

    shit- he looks just like dennis weaver!!!

  28. thebutlerdidit says:

    Doing P.R. with celebs, back many years ago, I mostly never talked to them, or rarely. Just assistants. Not Matt. Always himself, always kind, funny, & up to help in any way. After dealing with the Ashley Judd, Julia Roberts, etc, or either crazy or straight up a##hole, or both, he was a joy. Adore him!

  29. lisa2 says:

    Christian B.. did this and didn’t win the Oscar. I don’t think this is necessary nor do I think this makes you a “better actor” or the ” real deal”. He is doing this to “get into character” but more then that I think he is really trying to get Award recognition. There are ways to do this outside of killing yourself or coming close. Most actors that have done this talk of how it messed up their health.

    This film doesn’t sound that interesting. but whateves.

  30. Ella says:

    I’m not sure how I feel about actors losing that much weight for a movie role. It puts incredible stress on your internal organs, and you’re effectively inducing illness. Sometimes the damage is permanent. Christian Bale never looked quite the same after losing weight for the machinist. I’m just not convinced films are that important.

  31. Lisa says:

    Obviously it’s diet. You can’t get that gaunt with exercise, unless it’s excessive cardio.

  32. kitty-bye says:

    I remember when Swayze was looking poorly & was worried b4 they really said what was going on. MM reminds me of it :( . It is just disturbing and not worth it. Doesn’t it trash the body he worked so hard to keep “in shape” all those years…

    Ugh. Disturbing!!!

  33. Minxx says:

    This is disturbing. I’m surprised he’s allowed to eat cheesburgers – it’s incredibly unhealthy as it is but especially when he’s wasting himself like this. His body is already very stressed, acidic – vegan diet would have been much,much healthier and safer now.

    • ZenB!tch says:

      I don’t think he is eating cheeseburgers. He is dreaming about them when he can get back to his normal eating and exercise plan. He implied that he knows he will get sick after eating it but that it will be soooo worth it.

      He’s a Texan. Vegan is not in his blood.

  34. ZenB!tch says:

    He looks great as in for the role, although my memory of kaposi’s sarcoma in the 80s when I was a little girl growing up in a heavily gay area is that the lesions were much bigger and a tad more raised. His faux lesion look more like a bruise. I’ll give the make up peeps some slack and assume most people my (Matt’s) age and younger would not know what they looked like and maybe it’s just starting.

    I also want to point out as I did in the last MM is dying thread: note that his real clothes are huge. He is not planning to stay that size any longer than he has to. His character’s clothes fit him.

  35. Molly says:

    He doesnt look healthy at all…..