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Matthew McConaughey on His 47-Pound Transformation for ‘Gold’

Variety logo Variety 1/18/2017 Sade Spence
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Matthew McConaughey laughed off his 47-pound weight gain for his latest role of Kenny Wells at the New York City premiere of TWC-Dimension’s “Gold” Tuesday night at AMC Loews Lincoln Square.

“I enjoyed getting into Kenny and doing my research and all of a sudden I looked in the mirror and was like, ‘You put on a lot of weight, McConaughey,'” said the star.

The crime-adventure film inspired by true events follows Wells and his dream of finding gold in Indonesia. He pairs up with mythic geologist Michael Acosta, played by Edgar Ramirez, and launch a gold-mining business that leads to more than he bargained for.

Director Stephen Gaghan and Ramirez had nothing but praise for McConaughey’s acting chops and commitment to the role. “He’s been turning in some of the best performances in the world right now,” said Gaghan. “So I thought ‘He’s going to bring so much to this — so much precision to the character.’ And he did.”

Ramirez shared those same sentiments: “He transformed himself into a total different person and that’s commitment.”

The actor also revealed his new on and off-screen friendship formed with McConaughey over the film. “We just hit it off. I trust this guy,” Ramirez said. “He’s my brother. This guy is going to have my back and I’m going to have his.”

“This film is all about loyalty,” added McConaughey. “Two guys make a handshake, two guys in a similar position in their career and you find out what that handshake is based on in the movie.”

Post-screening, guests sipped “Gold”-themed Wild Turkey cocktails to popular ’80s dance hits, while McConaughey and Ramirez snapped photos with co-stars Bryce Dallas Howard and Corey Stoll at the Plaza Hotel’s Palm Court.

“Gold” opens nationwide Jan. 27

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