Matthew McConaughey. (Getty Images Entertainment)
Ann Oldenburg, USA TODAY
Matthew McConaughey and Lance Armstrong have been friends for years. Both men call Austin home and for a time they were often spotted running, biking and partying together, as well as working on Armstrong's Livestrong nonprofit to support people affected by cancer.
So how did the actor feel about the cyclist's big doping confession?
"My first reaction was I was (ticked) off," McConaughey told MTV News over the weekend at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, where the actor was promoting his movie, Mud. "I was mad. 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."
McConaughey went on to say, "What I realized is that those of us that took that personally, like, 'Oh, he lied to me!' That's not true. 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 (ticked) off at him, going, 'You want me to walk around holding this?'"
McConaughey now sounds a little more forgiving. "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 re-enter this new chapter of his life a truly free man. 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."
McConaughey acknowledged, "Some people are never going to forgive him." He added, "You know the old line that Oprah said the other night, 'The truth will set you free'?" He continues, "Yeah, but she forgot one part. It's miserable in the beginning. And it's going to be miserable. 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."