Matthew McConaughey's Extreme Weight Loss Has Hollywood Talking

Camila Alves Matthew McConaughey - P 2012
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Camila Alves Matthew McConaughey - P 2012

The actor has taken off over 30 pounds to play an AIDS patient in an upcoming movie.

Matthew McConaughey, an actor who has taken a fair share of ribbing for his penchant for showing off his buff physique, is turning heads for a different reason lately -- his dramatic weight loss.

McConaughey was nearly unrecognizable at a recent appearance at a fundraiser for the Andy Roddick Foundation, where the Magic Mike star and 2005 People's Sexiest Man Alive looked gaunt and sickly next to pregnant wife Camila McConaughey.

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Earlier this week, McConaughey was photographed with his family outside a church in Austin, Texas, looking tired and emaciated as his leaned on his mother for support.

The startling physical transformation -- what McConaughey told Larry King last July would ultimately be a total of 30 pounds lost -- is for his upcoming role in The Dallas Buyer's Club, which tells the true story of Ron Woodruff, a man with AIDS who sought out experimental therapies in the mid-1980s.

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“I’m losing some weight,” McConaughey told King on the host'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.”

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

The film, from French-Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallée (The Young Victoria), also stars Gael Garcia Bernal and is due out in 2013.

While the transformation is extreme, it's not nearly as dramatic as the the 65 pounds Christian Bale shed to play an insomniac in 2004's The Machinist.