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Matthew McConaughey Defends Extreme Weight Loss: ‘I’m Not Being Starved!’

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Nov. 29 2012, Published 7:00 a.m. ET

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By Alexis Tereszcuk - Radar Entertainment Editor

Matthew McConaughey’s drastic weight loss for his latest role has the former hunk looking like skin and bones but he’s defending the look and says he’s losing the weight in a “really healthy way” and is “not being starved.”

He is playing a man who has AIDS in the upcoming film The Dallas Buyers Club and he’s dropped to a shocking 143 pounds, but he defended the extreme weight loss and says he is not just eating one cracker a day.

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“I feel fine. I really do,” the 43-year-old actor -- who’s 6 feet tall -- said about his shocking transformation.

The movie is based on the true story of Ron Woodruff, a drug-using straight man who was diagnosed with full-blown AIDS in 1986 and fought the government and the U.S. pharmaceutical industry to get access to anti-viral drugs being used against HIV in other countries.

“I got the means to lose the weight in a really healthy way. I’m eating fresh fish. I’m just eating small amounts. I’m not being starved,” Matthew told The Daily Beast.

Photos from the set show the usually buff Texan on set looking incredibly skinny and gaunt, but he says he’s not suffering from dropping the pounds.

“I’m sleeping well. I’ve got clean meals that I’m cooking for myself. It’s just really an exercise in discipline. If anything, it’s as much a spiritual journey as it is physical. My body is fine. I’m taking care of myself. Everything has shrunk quite a bit.

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Matthew, who recently played a well built stripper in Magic Mike, said he feels different than he used to though.

“It’s really been enlightening to understand my anatomy. I don’t have the leverage I used to. I have body soreness.”

He has thrown himself into a role, like Christian Bale did for The Fighter, but says he is making sure a doctor says he’s healthy.

“I’ve been checked. My levels are fine. I’m as healthy as can be. My blood pressure, everything’s fine. The real health challenge is when you put it back on. It’s very easy to create a form of diabetes if you don’t do it right. You can’t just start eating cheeseburgers and ice cream. Your body will go into shock and it just won’t work.”

Following in the footsteps of Anne Hathaway, who only ate two thin squares of oatmeal paste for her “near death” starvation diet for Les Mis, he isn’t eating sweets, and says he can’t even have a little ice cream.

“No. I would love to.”

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