The story of Lance Armstrong is a strange one. At one time he was one of the most beloved athletes in the world. After beating testicular cancer, he won seven consecutive Tour de France titles and the Associate Press named him Male of the Year from 2002-2005. Then his entire world crashed down around him.
Charged with using performance enhancing drugs, Armstrong denied the allegations. After fighting it for years, Armstrong finally came out in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, admitting that he was doping during his career and might not have won the titles without the drugs.
It is a story fit for a movie, and that is exactly what is going to happen. "Star Trek" director J.J. Abrams announced he is making a biopic of the disgraced cyclist's life and Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper immediately spoke up and said he would love to play Armstrong in the movie. Here is a look at five actors who could play Armstrong in the story of his life.
The fact that Cooper stepped up and made the request makes him a solid first choice when Abrams starts casting for the movie. Cooper's current Oscar nomination for "Silver Linings Playbook" makes him bankable, and he shares the good looks and athletic build of Armstrong. "The Hangover" star has proven he is more than a comedic actor, and this could be the next step in what looks to be a very promising career.
When Cooper talked about the opportunity to portray Armstrong in the movie, he said that he has been interested since before the Oprah interview, calling the cyclist fascinating. He mentioned that the first time he heard about the role was when Matt Damon was circling it after Armstrong's autobiography came out. Damon remains a well-respected actor and would bring a lot of respectability to the role, but one has to wonder if he is even interested now that the truth has come out.
A lesser known name that could take the role is Michael Fassbender. While mainstream America knows little about the German actor, Fassbender has built a solid resume of films and has become a recognizable face. With action movies like "X-Men: First Class" and "Prometheus," as well as critically acclaimed movies like "Shame" and "Jane Eyre," Fassbender is ready to break out. Playing Armstrong could finally vault him into leading man status.
When trying to choose an actor to portray Armstrong, it might be a good idea to find one who sympathizes with the cyclist. There might not be a better choice than Armstrong's close friend Matthew McConaughey. The two men share a similar height and build, and McConaughey would surely work hard to paint Armstrong in a sympathetic light. While McConaughey said he was originally mad at Armstrong for the lies, he has since spoken to Armstrong and said that the cyclist is in a better place now that he has laid out the truth.
For pure box office success, there are fewer better bets than Channing Tatum right now. The actor has a larger build than Armstrong, but he could easily slim down to play the athlete. Now that Tatum has proven his range, with action roles, comedy roles and dramatic pieces, this would give him a chance to build his legend and continue to develop into one of the best young actors working today.
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- Michael Fassbender
- Michael Fassbender
- Lance Armstrong
- Matt Damon
- Matt Damon