Belfast Telegraph

McConaughey: Dad's death shaped me

Matthew McConaughey has changed since his father's death, and thinks he's a "better person" for it.

The actor is currently receiving rave reviews for his portrayal of AIDS sufferer Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyer Club, which is based on true events.

Matthew, 44, lost his father James to a heart attack in 1992, and says the experience helped to shape him into the man he is today.

"My father's death, for instance, has made me a better person. After high school I went abroad, I had lost my focus, hence I had to stay focused on myself only, trying to figure out who I was," Matthew said at a press conference in Rome for Dallas Buyers Club.

"Suffering in general can be positive for certain aspects; along the way and at the end of your life, you can look back and realise some troubles were instructive. The best thing to do is try to understand the positive aspect of pain, as soon as possible."

Suffering is a theme explored in the movie, and Matthew admits he was keen to be a part of the movie even before there was any funding to get it made.

He says it's understandable that studios weren't willing to produce a film that centred on the disease, but Matthew was adamant the theme was still relevant more than 30 years after the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s.

"The script of Dallas Buyers Club had been refused 137 times, that story had been around for 20 years. I read it five years ago and wrote on the cover 'This script has fangs and I want to be bitten', even though there were no funds and no director. Many times we thought we were ready to start, and then the money was not there anymore.

"Even five weeks before beginning, when I had already lost over 45 pounds, the funds were retracted, and we thought we would have had to postpone the shooting once again. But then I said, 'No, this time we gotta do it.' Then a little miracle happened, and the five million dollars necessary for the movie came out," he explained.

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