PHOTOS: Matthew McConaughey's Frightening Weight Loss

Star has shed the pounds, but there's a perfectly good explanation

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As a Hollywood heart-throb much of Matthew McConaughey's career has been built off the back of his body, with female fans going crazy for Matt's hunky looks, especially in stripper movie 'Magic Mike'.

Yet recently the actor has been looking pretty dreadful- gaunt, skinny and profoundly unwell. But just why is the star beginning to look a shadow of his former self?

Gladly the reason isn't too dreadful, with the actor not succumbing to unhealthy habits.

No instead it's because he's playing a man with AIDS in latest movie 'Dallas Buyers Club' and has gone on a crash diet to make his look more authentic.

The 'Killer Joe' star told Us Weekly: "I'm playing a guy who was sick and would have loved to have been healthier but wasn't. For me, it's more of a mental thing than a physical thing."

However McConaughey still looks pretty gaunt and it's quite frightening how quickly Hollywood's prime exponent of the shirtless stroll can go from beefcake to lean joint.

Check out Matthew's transformation in the photos below...

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Matthew McConaughey in March PHOTO: WENN