Matthew Mcconaughey gained a vital insight into his character in Dallas Buyers Club when the family of his deceased subject handed over a stack of personal diaries.
MCConaughey plays Ron Woodroof in the Oscar-tipped film, which tells how the Hiv victim illegally smuggled unapproved medication into America from Mexico, and formed the Dallas Buyers Club to stay beyond the reach of the law.
Magic Mike star MCConaughey studied recordings of conversations between electrician Woodroof and screenwriter Mark Borten, which were made before Woodroof's death in 1992, but he credits the man's diaries as his "secret weapon" while preparing for the movie.
The actor tells Radar magazine, "His (Woodroof's) family gave me his diary and it was the diary he kept up to before he got Hiv. That gave me his monologue, this dialogue he was having with himself. Because the tapes (with Borten) were from after he had the Dallas Buyers Club.
"The diary was: 'I got nothing to do. I got up again this morning, six o'clock, I had my coffee. I tucked my shirt in, pressed my pants, waited for my pager to go off, to get a call, get a little job done and nobody called. So damn it - I got to get high.' Seeing who he was before he got Hiv really informed me because he is a guy who turned 30 days of life, as he was told, to seven more years. That was the first time he had purpose in his life, ironically because he was having to fight for his life."