updated 10/22/2013 AT 11:00 AM ET
•originally published 10/22/2013 AT 2:45 PM ET
Jake Gyllenhaal is the latest actor to drop major weight for a movie, but he says it’s really not that different from prepping for any role.
“I think [I’ve lost] probably a little over 20 pounds, something like that,” the actor, 32, told PEOPLE Monday on the red carpet at the Hollywood Film Awards, where he looked noticeably thinner as he was honored for his role in Prisoners.
While he may look different, his approach hasn’t changed as he prepares for Nightcrawler, Gyllenhaal said.
“It’s not different than getting into character for anything. It’s more about believing where you are and being present where you are,” he said. “Who’s to say what the process is? I have a strange one but I love what I do.”
Meanwhile, fellow honoree Matthew McConaughey continues to put the weight back on after his memorable transformation for Dallas Buyers Club. The actor, 43, told PEOPLE that the five pillars of his life – career, parenting, love, friendship and health – are all nicely in sync at the moment.
“I’ve got a great wife and family who support what I go do,” he said. “Everything’s at a good level right now, and I’ve been trying to keep it that way.”