Matthew McConaughey Reveals Motivation Behind Startling Weight Loss (Video)

The actor will play an HIV patient in an upcoming film, requiring him to drop a shocking 30 pounds from his muscular frame.

The Matthew McConaughey currently found in movie theaters across the country is looking a lot different than the Matthew McConaughey currently walking around the real world.

The Magic Mike actor, who appears fit and shirtless in Steven Soderbergh’s male stripper film, is in the process of prepping for his next role, which is requiring the notoriously well-toned Texas native to drop a whopping 30 pounds.

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“I’m losing some weight,” a thin McConaughey says on Larry King’s new Ora TV webseries, Larry King Now. “I’ve got a role coming up in the middle of September. I’ve lost about 15 pounds, I’ve gotta lose about 15 more.”

The gritty role is based on the real life story of a Dallas man named Ron Woodruff, who contracted HIV through drug use in the ‘80s.

“I should not look healthy by the time I’m doing this,” McConaughey confesses.

Though he won’t look healthy, the newlywed says he’s viewing the quick weight less as a cleanse, rather than food deprivation. “It’s a bit of a spiritual cleanse, mental cleanse,” McConaughey says. “[I’m] drinking a lot of tea.”

“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,” he adds.

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The project is titled The Dallas Buyers Club and focuses on a homophobic cowboy who is given a death sentence by doctors. He smuggles life-saving drugs across the Mexican border and jumpstarts one of the first underground AIDS support groups. After signing on for the project earlier this summer, McConaughey revealed that he was no longer attached to play John F. Kennedy in Lee DanielsThe Butler.

“It was very tough to get the money for that one, being the subject material and it’s a period piece,” McConaughey said of Dallas Buyers Club. “We’ve been really, really close for a long time. We’ve been going back to getting a number that Jean-Marc felt like he could make it for and still give us the right creative license to tell it the way we need to. Sometimes they just happen. There’s momentum right now. Some things I’ve got going on are helping whoever’s financing, going, ‘Oh that’s a better idea now’ … We’re out-enduring some people because we’re staying on it.”

McConaughey’s full interview with King will air Thursday, July 19, at 5 p.m. ET. Watch a preview in the video above.