Blink and you’ll miss Matthew McConaughey in a pink robe in “Dallas Buyers Club.”
McConaughey plays Ron Woodruff, a real-life cowboy diagnosed with HIV and told he has little time to live, only to find out the drugs needed to sustain him are unavailable in the United States. Woodruff travels south of the border for the necessary drugs and smuggles them back to Texas. With the help of Rayon, a similarly afflicted transvestite played by Jared Leto, Woodruff sets up a life-sustaining buyers club.
In the film, Woodruff walks through a scene in the motel suite that he shares with Rayon, his partner and friend. For some reason, Ron’s wearing Rayon’s pink robe. Say what?
We asked McConaughey about that cheeky moment at the Park Hyatt in Toronto and he Cheshire-Cat smiled and asked, “You caught that?”
“That’s my wife’s robe,” McConaughey explained, “The pink robe. And I wear it, too, in real life. And I put it on there with Rayon. It’s a wink: there’s [c***]-swinging Ron Woodruff wearing Rayon’s pink robe.”
It’s a sign of how far macho man and rodeo rider Woodruff has come since the doctors diagnosed him HIV Positive and he landed in the hospital bed next to Rayon, the flamboyant transvestite.
McConaughey continued: “He wouldn’t have come close to wearing that pink robe two months before. We’re the odd couple. It’s a great romance. The first place when we come together, Rayon was already an outcast. Ron becomes an outcast. Here’s Thing One and Thing Two, Ratso Rizzo and the Midnight Cowboy.”
Sure, the Oscar buzz has become a roar for Matthew McConaughey after a string of tremendous performances – “Mud,” “Magic Mike,” “Bernie” – that have culminated with “Dallas Buyers Club.” But what about Jared Leto? Clearly, there’s a Team Rayon movement forming already and the movie only just premiered in Toronto.
McConaughey happily shares a heaping Texas-size helping of praise for Leto: “Here’s a part that on paper is showy. This part shines. It’s also a part someone could come in and turn into a caricature and skip the humanity. Jared got rid of all the things to do [McConaughey shakes his hands in the air]. He got rid of all the [s**ts and giggles, all the props, all the Pansie-ations. He got rid of all those frilly things that would be legitimate.”
The star continued, “Leto came in after three or four years of not working. An actor could go I really need to make this count. He didn’t. It’s a very subtle and human performance. Rayon is in good hands. He cut out all the extra lagniappe, the etcetera. He kept Rayon real.”
And, it turns out that both men look good in pink chenille.
"Dallas Buyers Club" opens in limited release on November 1.
See Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto in the "Dallas Buyers Club" theatrical trailer: