Texas natives Matthew McConaughey and Lance Armstrong have long been buddies (who can forget those photos of the two of them jogging shirtless together?). So has the actor spoken to his friend following Lance’s two-night bombshell sit-down with Oprah?
Access Hollywood’s Tim Vincent caught up with Matthew at the premiere of his new film, “Mud,” at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, where the 43-year-old star revealed he has indeed talked to Lance following the doping confession and said the athlete is doing well.
“I’ve spoke to him, friend to friend, [it’s] between he and I,” the actor said of his conversation with Lance.
While Matthew seems to be in a good place with Lance now, in an interview with MTV News on Saturday, he admitted he initially was very angry when he learned the seven-time Tour de France champion had cheated.
“My first reaction was I was pissed off. I was mad,” he told MTV, adding that he wanted to be “delicate” in how he spoke regarding the scandal. “I then got kind of sad for him. First off, I had a part of me that took it kind of personally, which I think a lot of people have.”
After giving the situation serious thought, Matthew said he realized he shouldn’t take the lies as a personal affront.
“What I mean by this is, what was he supposed to do? Call me to the side and go, ‘Hey man, I did it but don’t tell anybody.’ Then I would have really had a reason to be pissed off at him, going, ‘You want me to walk around holding this?’” he said. “Where I am now is I’ve put myself out of the way and I am happy for this guy, who has now chosen to reenter this new chapter of his life a truly free man.
Adding, “And the weight he had on his shoulders, without the boogieman under the bed, the skeleton in the closet that he’s carried for 14 years. Fourteen years he lied and carried the lie with him.”
Matthew agreed with what Oprah said multiple times during the shocking interview, which is that finally telling the truth will liberate Lance, but said he believes it will be a long, painful and humbling road.
“Oprah said the other night, ‘The truth will set you free,’ but she forgot one part. It’s miserable in the beginning. And it’s going to be miserable,” he said. “But he’s looking it in the eye, and he’ll handle it. He’ll deal. And he’s ready for how hard it’s going to be to deal.”
-- Erin O’Sullivan