It seems like every year during the fall movie season, as actors begin to collect accolades that eventually turn into nominations, there are one or two physical transformations that capture everyone’s attention. This year, two of those performances are in the same film.
Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto are already earning serious praise and Oscar buzz for their roles in “Dallas Buyers Club,” the true-life story of two HIV patients who fight for their lives by bringing in unapproved drugs from across the border into the U.S. While both men make startling transformations for the film, Leto, in particular, is being called out for how unrecognizable he is, as you can see in a recently released clip.
Leto plays Rayon, a transgender woman who is enlisted by McConaughey ’s Ron Woodroof to bring the drugs into the U.S. for AIDS patients.
The new preview is just a glimpse at Rayon, but it’s a good preview of what is by most accounts an astonishing performance. In the clip, Rayon meets with Eve Saks, a doctor played by Jennifer Garner, who is trying to persuade her to show up for the rest of a trial period for a new drug, AZT. In 1986, when the movie is set, this is the only FDA-approved to fight the HIV, leading Woodroof and Rayon to seek help from alternative treatments.
All told, Leto lost 30 pounds in order to prepare for the role of Rayon, and the transformation is already generating buzz.
“Dallas Buyers Club” premiered to strong reviews at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and will open in U.S. theaters on November 1.