Audience stays up late for 'Dallas Buyers Club'
05:00 AM, Sep 08, 2013
TORONTO As far as the film fest here is concerned, Dallas Buyers Club was worth waiting for.
That was evident on Saturday, when ticket holders sat engrossed well past midnight for the late-night premiere. The true story (out Nov. 1) showcases Matthew McConaughey in a tour de force performance as Ron Woodroof, a homophobic Texas cowboy diagnosed with AIDS in 1986 and given 30 days to live.
Untrusting of his doctors (Jennifer Garner and Denis O’Hare), Woodroof begins smuggling FDA-unapproved, yet effective, drugs across the border for himself and a wide circle of AIDS-afflicted customers. For a time the scheme works, assisted by an unlikely ally: a transsexual man named Rayon (Jared Leto), who befriends Woodroof.
By 12:20 a.m., the Toronto audience was on its feet to cheer on McConaughey as he emerged for a Q&A session with director Jean-Marc Vallee, Garner and Leto. The actor bashfully took a bow.
An audience member asked Leto why he broke from his acting hiatus. “I have to say, Matthew McConaughey is doing something spectacular with his life. With his career. And I wanted to be a part of that. He’s doing the most incredibly inspiring work. That was a huge part of my decision.”
The heartbreaking story, told with an undercurrent of humor, was shot in just 27 days. “People always ask, ‘What was the best prank?’ There was no time for a prank,” said McConaughey.
“If people could only see how this tiny crew scrambled around, and how we never stopped shooting,” said Garner. “I remember those days, because I was eating. I remember very well the days that were hard.”
McConaughey also referenced those 38 pounds he famously lost for Dallas Buyers Club, enabling a sickly and emaciated appearance on screen. “I actually had a lot of energy at that weight,” he said. “My wife wasn’t too fond of it. It’s what was needed to be true to the role.”
“They didn’t bother with craft service,” added Garner. “Just me and the crew sneaked doughnuts off to the side.”