Matthew McConaughey has long skirted the line between popcorn-fodder movie star and serious thespian, but he’s making a major Oscar bid with Dallas Buyers Club, which sees the usually hunky actor withered down and playing a real-life caustic, homophobe named Ron Woodruff, who was diagnosed with AIDS in the mid-1980s. Refusing to accept a death sentence, Woodruff started distributing unapproved drug cocktails to patients in dire straits.
Below, McConaughey talks to Logo’s Louis Virtel about how a guy like Ron would react to an AIDS diagnosis. “My feeling was, you’d get damn offensive—through the denial, you attack,” he explains. “You get aggressive. ‘You must’ve screwed up!'”
Dallas Buyers Club opens November 1.