Sunday, August 25, 2013

Reel People: Matthew McConaughey is Ron Woodroof

The film is Dallas Buyers Club. The film is directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, screenplay by debut screenwriters Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack.

Ron Woodroof

Ron Woodroof was born in 1950. He would marry, become an electrician and have a family. In his mid-to-late 30s the heterosexual, homophobic Texas would be diagnosed HIV-positive in 1986. He was given 30 days to six months to live. He started taking the only drug that was approved by the FDA for AIDS/HIV which at the time was AZT.

Woodroof commited to fighting the disease began seeking out non-toxic alternative medicine from all over the world.

As Woodroof began collecting these illegal alternative treatments, others began seeking him out. With the help of a doctor, he created the Dallas Buyer's Club, the first of many that would allow paying members access to the medicine. Woodroof coordinated the smuggling of drugs, working with labs to check for inpurities, and setting prices to factor in all the various cost associated with the operation. Those taking the drugs did so at there own risk, and Woodroof like many others he sold to, created expiremental programs to fight their disease. The buyers club became a center of legal battles between Woodroof, the FDA, and the insurance companies.

Woodroof outlived the original projections, dying September 12, 1992.

Dallas Buyers Club

Press to date on the film, long in the works (various scripts, directors, cast) has recently focused primarily on the physical transformation undergone by McConaughey who lost around 40 pounds to perform the role on Ron Woodroof. Also at the center of the physical transformation conversation is Jared Leto who also underweant his own physical transformation, including the loss of 30 pounds, to portray the character Rayon, a transgendered HIV patient who participates in the buyers club.

The film also stars Jennifer Garner as Dr. Eve Saks the doctor who assisted Woodroof. The film also features Steve Zahn and Dallas Roberts.

Matthew McConaughey will certainly get some buzz for his physical transformation alone, but will his performance take that buzz and translate it into critical attention, and maybe even an Oscar nomination or win for his role as this Real (Reel) Person?