- Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner, Steve Zahn, Dallas Roberts, Denis O'Hare, Griffin Dunne, Kevin Rankin, Jane McNeill, J.D. Evermore, Lawrence Turner, Jency Griffin, Deneen Tyler, Joji Yoshida, Donna Duplantier, Scott Takeda, Lucius Falick, Bradford Cox, Jane McNeill, Adam Dunn, Stephanie Grote, Jeanine Hill, Juliet Reeves, John Tabler, James DuMont, Kenneth Kynt Bryan, Sarah Eilts, Tony Bentley, Ian Casselberry , Rick Espaillat, Martin Covert, Frederick Clark
- Director: Jean-Marc Vallee
- Writers: Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack
- Producers: Robbie Brenner, Rachel Winter
- Co Producer: Michael Sledd
- Executive Producers: Nicolas Chartier, Cassian Elwes, Zev Foreman, Logan Levy, Joe Newcomb, Tony Notargiacomo, Nathan Ross, Holly Wiersma
- Art Direction: Javiera Varas
- Castings: Kerry Barden, Rich Delia, Paul Schnee
- Costume Design: Kurt and Bart
- D.O.P.: Yves Bélanger
- Editors: Martin Pensa, Jean-Marc Vallée
- Makeup: Robin Mathews
- Production Design: John Paino
- Set Decoration: Robert Covelman
In "Dallas Buyers Club," McConaughey portrays real-life Texas electrician Ron Woodroof, an ordinary man who found himself in a life-or-death battle with the medical establishment and pharmaceutical companies. In 1986, Ron was blindsided by being diagnosed as HIV-positive and given 30 days to live.
With the U.S. still internally divided over how to combat the virus and restricting medications, Ron grabbed hold of non-toxic alternative treatments from all over the world by means both legal and illegal. Seeking to avoid government sanctions against selling non-approved medicines and supplements, he established a “buyers club,” which fellow HIV-positive people could join for access to his supplies.
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Filming Locations: New Orleans, USA
- MPAA Warning: Pervasive language, some strong sexual content, nudity and drug use
- Production Budget: $5 million
- Production Companies: Truth Entertainment, Voltage Pictures
- Production Schedule: 11 November 2012 - February 2013
2013 Guide Analysis: "This long in-development $5 million indie drama finally went into production in New Orleans last month, and has already caused something of a stir due to the skeletal thinness of at least two of its stars. Originally set to be a Brad Pitt-led, Marc Forster-directed film, it then became a Ryan Gosling-led, Craig Gillespie-directed project. Finally, it has ended up being a Matthew McConaughey-led, Jean-Marc Vallee-directed film which McConaughey himself helped out with financing on.
The story is loosely based on the true-life tale of Ron Woodroof, a "drug taking, women loving, homophobic man" who was diagnosed with full-blown HIV in 1986 and given one month to live. The FDA-approved, AZT medication he was given for treatment brought him to the brink of death. Pushing it aside, he ended up becoming a smuggler of non-toxic, anti-viral medications from all over the world. Other AIDS patients soon sought out his medications and he started the titular club which gave paying members alternative treatments.
The FDA and pharmaceutical companies soon waged war on Ron who managed to stay alive for a further six years until his death in 1992. McConaughey lost 30-40 pounds (13-17 kg) in order to assume the role, and as a result has been photographed looking gaunt and virtually unrecognisable as compared to his usually muscular frame (yes that's him in the picture above).
Gael Garcia Bernal was previously cast in the key supporting role of a drag queen and AIDS patient named Rayon, but had to bow out. Instead, Jared Leto stepped in to replace him with this marking Leto's first on-screen role in four years. Like McConaughey, he's also lost weight for the role. It's a project that actors and filmmakers are obviously keen to do, but studios have generally balked at the idea because it's admittedly not a particularly commercial film. If the quality is good enough though, it's certainly a potential awards candidate."