SANTA MONICA - In playing real-life HIV patient-turned-activist Rod Woodruff in "Dallas Buyers Club," Matthew McConaughey transformed himself physically and emotionally. 

He earned a Best Actor trophy at the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards for his efforts. 

When asked how he went about becoming Woodruff in Jean-Marc Vallée's film, the Oscar nominee noted, "I had a real man [to draw from]. I had his diary from two years before he had HIV. I got his humor from that. I got his humanity from that."

The physical side of his transformation is already well-documented, but it nonetheless played a crucial role in his performance in the film. After dieting and losing a few pounds, McConaughey said, "I had no idea how far I had to go. I had no idea how much I had to lose." 

"47 [lbs.] was the final number," he concluded. 

Dave Lewis has been a Los Angeles-based entertainment writer and editor for nearly ten years. Originally hailing from Minneapolis, he moved to L.A. in 1996 to attend USC, before working for various periodicals and web sites including a lengthy stint at He joined the HitFix staff in 2011.