Betsy Andreu has offered an endorsement of The Program, the new film about Lance Armstrong, saying that lead actor Ben Foster "nailed it" and claiming that the film as a whole celebrates how "the truth won out".
Andreu, wife of Armstrong's former US Postal teammate Frankie Andreu, has been particularly close to the whole Armstrong affair as it has played out. She was present in the American's hospital room in 1996, where she claims he told doctors treating him for cancer that he had used doping products. Armstrong has consistently denied this and the relationship between the Texan and the Andreus has long been an embittered one.
Speaking on the Colette Fitzpatrick Show on Irish radio station Newstalk, Andreu expressed reservations over Foster, stemming from his accent and his decision to take drugs to prepare for the role, but felt that he did a great job in the end.
"I had a little bit of concern, because he didn't have Lance's Texan twang. But he nailed it, he really nailed it," she said, before picking out three powerful scenes which she felt captured the nature of Armstrong and the story as a whole.
"There's a scene where Ben Foster just went off, he became unraveled [as Lance] talking about me and Emma O'Reilly, and then there were two scenes that I think really depicted the disbelief and how disheartened we all were to know that were telling the truth and Lance just kept getting ahead.
"You see David Walsh reading this retraction and apology that has to be printed in the Sunday Times and Bob Hamman having to pay Lance millions of dollars that Lance just stole from him. The way those scenes were portrayed and depicted, you really get the sense of 'oh my gosh, this guy was just a criminal getting away with it and the world still loved him and they didn’t want to believe the truth. And I thought that was brilliant."
Andreu notes how the film doesn't explore the story from every angle, focusing primarily on journalist David Walsh's battle to expose Armstrong when in reality it was more nuanced and there were many others involved. That says, she felt the film as a whole was "wonderful" in showing how, in the end, the truth trumped money and power.
"In the end, through the public humiliation and trying to destroy my reputation, excoriating me and Frankie publicly, the truth won out in the end and that is a wonderful thing," she said, "I truly hope it inspires others who are facing situations, where money and power seem to be more important, that the truth does matter".
Andreu was also asked about her current relationship with Armstrong, and said she was trying make peace with him in her own mind for her own sanity, even if she feels he is continuing to lie and manipulate.
"He is absolutely lying to this day. He will stop at nothing to perpetuate the Amrstrong lie – he has a hundred million reasons to do that. Lance is swimming in the cesspool he has created for himself," said Andreu.
"There's going to come a point where there's going to be an eye roll and a shrug and I'll say 'at this point I actually pity the guy'. I'm getting there but I'm not there yet".
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