One of the strongest celebrity friendships may very well be the lasting bond between actor Matthew McConaughey and Olympian Lance Armstrong. The two have reportedly been spotted working out and partying together, with the famous cyclist even opting for a (albeit slower) bicycle ride with his close friend. What’s more, McConaughey and Armstrong, who both happen to be Texas natives, happen to share a love for helping others; the two partnered up to support cancer patients via Armstrong’s non-profit organization. As MTV News noted in 2013, the two “work together on Armstrong’s Livestrong nonprofit to support people affected by cancer.”
“Lance has been a great friend. He’s one of the great new relationships I’ve found in the last couple years,” said McConaughey about the Tour de France winner (via People). “He’s a great man. You look for people or ideas who are inspiring and he definitely is. His second chapter, now that he’s not riding the tour, is to be the face and leader of cancer research. And he’s attacking that just like he did the tour.”
We’ve only scratched the surface of this A-list friendship; McConaughey and Armstrong’s history happens to be a long one.
Matthew McConaughey and Lance Armstrong are workout buddies
The greatest Hollywood bromances have often led to some great movies and television. Be it the hilarious back and forth between Adam Levine and Blake Shelton for years on The Voice, or the fake feud between Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds that led to Jackman appearing in Deadpool, celebrity friendships have been the starting point to great entertainment. But, for Matthew McConaughey and Lance Armstrong, their friendship led to two athletic physiques.
Despite McConaughey being known for his countless shirtless appearances across his career from his 1996 movie A Time To Kill, to 2006’s Failure to Launch, to 2012’s Magic Mike, the actor admits he still has a hard time keeping up with his famous cyclist friend. “When people say to me, ‘You’re in great shape, you must keep up with Lance,’ I start laughing,” said McConaughey about his longtime friend, according to People. “I see the back of his jersey for the first 200 yards of the ride and, after that, I don’t see him again until the end.”
McConaughey has however shown support for Armstrong, traveling to France in 2009 to cheer on the cyclist in the Tour De France.
Matthew McConaughey stood behind Lance Armstrong during a scandal
Showing up to support your true friends often means showing up in times of trouble, and for Matthew McConaughey and Lance Armstrong that moment arrived in 2013. One of the biggest athletic scandals of the decade came when Armstrong admitted in a shocking Oprah Winfrey interview that he doped for years. For McConaughey, this meant accepting a hard truth about his close friend.
“My first reaction was I was p***** off,” the actor said at the time to MTV News. “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.” Upset with his friend, McConaughey quickly learned why Armstrong may have kept a secret from him for so long.
“What I realized is that those of us that took that personally, like, ‘Oh, he lied to me!’ That’s not true,” said the Oscar winner. “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 p***** off at him, going, ‘You want me to walk around holding this?'” McConaughey eventually stood behind Armstrong saying he was “happy for this guy, who has now chosen to reenter this new chapter of his life a truly free man.”
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