Matthew McConaughey

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Matthew McConaughey should be careful.

Dallas Buyers Club has been so successful that his future backers may expect him to always make magic on such a low budget.

"Nobody had a trailer," McConaughey told me at the Governors Awards, referring to costars like Jennifer Garner and Jared Leto. "There wasn't time."

They shot the film in about 25 days. Even lighting was a luxury. McConaughey was lit for one scene by the headlights of his own car. "There was one camera and no lights," he said. "There wasn't one light or C stand on that entire set."

Matthew McConaughey, The Dallas Buyers Club

Focus Features

In fact, they almost lost funding for the project just days before they were set to shoot and after McConaughey had already lost 40 pounds to play a man dying of AIDS. "We would just always act like we didn't hear that." he said. "We'd just show up."

He said, "Dallas Buyers is a labor of love that we battled and pinned our ears back and said, 'We're going to get this made,' even when we kept hearing a week out, a week before, we were hearing, 'No, it's not going to happen.'"

Fortunately it did happen. Both he and Leto are getting all sorts of awards season buzz.

Camila Alves, Matthew McConaughey, Hollywood Film Awards

Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Things are going quite well for Mr. McConaughey.

"It's been a wonderful year," he said. "I have a 10-month-old son whose come into this world so we've got a lot of wonderful things happening to me right now."

McConaughey's wife Camila Alves gave birth to their son Livingston in December. They also have another son, 5-year-old Levi, and a daughter, Vida, who will be three in January.

McConaughey told me at the recent GQ Men of the Year party, "My [Just Keep Living] Foundation, acting and my family—those are my three things."

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