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Jennifer Garner on Matthew McConaughey’s Extreme Movie Weight Loss: ‘I Hated It’

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  • Jennifer Garner
    Jennifer Garner
    American actress
  • Matthew McConaughey
    Matthew McConaughey
    American actor

Jennifer Garner's mother-hen instincts extend far beyond Violet, Samuel, and Seraphina. She also feels protective of Matthew and Jared.

The actress is not hiding the fact that she seriously worried for co-stars McConaughey and Leto as the actors got scary-skinny for their upcoming "Dallas Buyers Club" — a film that has been getting a healthy dose of awards season buzz.

"I hated it," the 41-year-old Garner tells Yahoo Movies of her reaction to her waif-like co-stars.

McConaughey is rail-thin in the film, about Ron Woodroof, a real-life Texas man faced with a deadly AIDS diagnosis in the mid-'80s. The 43-year-old, 6-foot actor shed 50 pounds for the role, going from 185 pounds to a mere 135. There are a few key scenes in the movie that show how truly emaciated McConaughey got — one in which his hip bones visibly jutted out as he lay in a Mexico hospital bed.

"I hated seeing Matthew so — I mean, he looked ill. He looked legitimately really, very ill," says Garner, who plays Woodroff's physician in the film.

The actress says she had to go into another room and take a deep breath when she saw McConaughey for the first time at his reduced mass. "It was all I could do to not cry … because he really looked that sick."

McConaughey consulted with Tom Hanks, who won an Oscar for his role as an AIDS patient in 1993's "Philadelphia," about how to lose so much weight, People reports. And McConaughey also took the instruction of a nutritionist — to do it as safely as possible.

Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey in 'Dallas Buyers Club'
Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey in 'Dallas Buyers Club'

When it comes to Leto, who plays an AIDS-afflicted transsexual named Rayon, Garner says she could see the toll his 30-plus-pound weight loss was taking. "It was awful to watch," she says. "He would look totally out of it, like he could fall over, until they said action and then he would snap to and focus and be able to do anything," she describes. "But he was scary."

Indeed, the 41-year-old actor-musician, who also lost serious weight to play a drug addict in 2000's "Requem for a Dream," experienced some new, frightening side effects this time around. "Heart pounding, sweating a little much, my temperature running a little too hot and just that trying to catch my breath sort of thing. I hadn’t felt that in my past," he told Entertainment Weekly earlier this month.

"It's always something that's incredibly, incredibly difficult to do," Leto told Yahoo Movies in early September. "It was a pretty essential thing for this part."

Still, Garner insists, "I didn't like it."

"Dallas Buyers Club" enters theaters on Novevmber 1.

Watch Jennifer Garner in 'Dallas Buyers Club' Clip — Just Promise Me:

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