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Matthew McConaughey, 43, has lost a significant amount of weight for an upcoming movie role and was nearly unrecognizable when photographed Friday at LAX.

The normally buff actor has lost 30 pounds for his role as an 1980’s AIDS patient seeking experimental HIV drug treatment in the film The Dallas Buyer’s Club.

Production has begun and it won’t be long before the Magic Mike celeb can go back to a normal diet — though a recent interview seems to suggest that he has found the weight loss journey to be a somewhat satisfying psychological exercise.

He recently told Larry King, “For me, it’s more of a mental thing than a physical thing. I’ll get down to the weight I need to get to. I’m on the way, and it’s what I need to do for the job. It’s a bit of a spiritual cleanse, mental cleanse. I’m drinking a lot of tea.”

McConaughey and wife Camila Alves have two children and are expecting baby #3 this winter.

Check out the shocking airport images below:

Photo Credit: WENN