January 8th, 2013
05:45 PM ET
After slimming way down for his movie role of a man diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in "Dallas Buyers Club," Matthew McConaughey knew exactly what he wanted most when he could get off his diet: a cheeseburger.
So, as any veteran dieter will tell you, he didn't mess around when it came to preparing it exactly as he wanted it.
"I’ve put on 20 pounds, 25 pounds since I finished that film, and I ate a cheeseburger first thing!" McConaughey, 43, told CNN at the New York Film Critics Awards on Monday.
"I doozied it up for over 22 minutes before I touched it. It was in front of me, but I wouldn’t touch it until I had it just right," he said. "And it was just as good as I hoped it was."
The actor shed 38 pounds for the role, in order to make his typically buff physique look unhealthily gaunt. It looked dangerous, but McConaughey says he lost the weight in a safe way.
"I wouldn’t be looking forward to harming myself, and I didn’t harm myself with losing all that weight. I did it under doctor supervision, I understood the nutrition, I listened to my body all the way," he told CNN. "And it actually turned out to be a wonderful personal adventure for me, which happened to be the reason I did it, 'cause it’s what the character needed. And if I wouldn’t have gotten down to that weight, to play that character as truthfully as I could, I would have been embarrassed, for myself. 'Cause my job is to go emulate the life of someone else, and that’s what I was doing."
He can't say that it wasn't difficult, because to shed those pounds took "a lot of discipline."
"But after I decided I was going to it ... I say this all the time, once you run into the inevitable, get relative. So it was inevitable once I made the choice I was going to get down to 135, and then I just got relative," he said. "Anytime I’d get really hungry and pissed off, I’d say, 'well you’re not starving! ... You’re not actually sick. You don’t actually have HIV. As soon as I thought that way, I was like, 'oh, then don’t worry about it. Let’s do it.'"
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