In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, the british actor Ben Foster discussed his preparation for the portrayal of the seven-time Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong. This performance demanded Foster to go through a cosmetic, psychological, and in his own words, a “cellular” transformation.
The Program, a film directed by Stephen Frears, tells the story about the Irish sports journalist, portrayed by Chris O’Dowd, who begins hunting for evidence in order to expose Armstrong on his usage of performance enhancing drugs.
Foster admitted on the interview with EW that he knew very little about Armstrong story when he met with director Frears for the first time. “The more that I researched, the more that I explored in this subject, the more I wanted to know. It’s such a complex story, it’s such a complex world”, says Foster.
Foster began a condense program of doping during the production of the movie during which he was supervised by doctors and nutritionists. “I took a calculated risk, with a doctor supervising, and what I came away with is that drugs work — they work,” Foster said.
“You can just keep going. Coming off those drugs is the difficult part. That’s where your health concerns will come in. And it took a while for me to right myself. But that was a calculated risk and part of the joy of the job, I suppose.”
In addition, neither his co-stars or the director Stephen Frears knew about this until two days before the premier of the film at the Toronto Film Festival. Frears stated on a red carpet interview the following: “I’m not interested in the process by which people arrive at their performances. I just expect them to turn up on the first day and be brilliant.”
The Program is set to be released in the US at the beginning of 2016.