Actor Ben Foster continues to be be candid with the British press about what he put himself through to portray Lance Armstrong in the film The Program.

A month ago, before the movie made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Foster told The Guardian that he took performance-enhancing drugs while playing Armstrong in an effort to get into the mindset of the disgraced cycling champion, to understand how the substances work. The actor didn’t say which drugs he took during training and filming, only admitting what he did as a warning to peers who might attempt to do something similar for a role.

With The Program premiering at the London Film Festival, Foster spoke again about his PED regimen and the toll it took on his body and mind in an interview with the BBC.  Via The Hollywood Reporter:

“Go faster, go longer, go stronger. That’s why you take them. And they took drugs because they work. But they also can damage the body very long-term and in very serious ways,” he said. “I had a great doctor, which helped me handle some of those consequences. But it took about half a year to get my levels right, and I would say for any athlete, you have to ask, ‘Where are your values?'”

Though he once again wouldn’t name the drugs taken, Foster did make a point of mentioning that the substances were legal, and as seen in the quote above, his regimen was supervised and controlled by a doctor.

When asked about the extremes Foster went to in order to convincingly play Armstrong in his film, director Stephen Frears (The Queen, Philomena) told the BBC he was not aware of what the actor was doing at the time and only found out Foster was taking PEDs a couple of weeks ago. (Presumably, Frears learned of Foster’s PED use at the same time as the rest of us, from that Guardian interview.)

The Program will make its UK debut on Friday, Oct. 16. A U.S. release date has still not been scheduled, but according to THR‘s Alex Ritman, eOne’s Momentum Pictures (which has distributed movies such as Lost in Translation and Oscar winner The King’s Speech) has picked up the film for distribution in North America and it will play in theaters some time in 2016.

[The Hollywood Reporter]

About Ian Casselberry

Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He's written for Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.

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