Matt Damon Loves Lance Armstrong -- But He Won't Play Him!

The actor says he will not star in a biopic about the cyclist's life, but he still respects him: "Look, I love the guy"

Lance Armstrong's life story seems destined for the big screen, but it won't star Matt Damon. The Bourne Identity actor was recently rumored to be playing the disgraced cycling champion in an upcoming biopic, based on Armstrong's teammate's 2012 memoir The Secret Race. But in an interview with MTV News, Damon said that his bike-racing days are behind him.

"I was way too old ten years ago to play [Lance Armstrong]," Damon demurred. "No, that ship sailed a while ago just because of how old I was." (Watch the interview below; he starts talking about Armstrong at 1:10.)

Damon, 42, is actually about the same age as Armstrong, 41. However, a Lance Armstrong movie would likely focus on the cyclist's life in his 20s and early 30s, when he beat cancer and won the Tour de France seven consecutive times (allegedly with the help of illegal performance-enhancing drugs). Interestingly, the actor has been connected to the Lance Armstrong story since 2006, long before his doping scandal broke and he was stripped of his Tour de France titles.

But Damon told MTV News that recent events haven't shaken his admiration for Armstrong.

"I still think that story is remarkable," Damon said at Monday night's Gotham Awards. "And I'm sorry for what's happened, but I have to say, he's done incredible things and he's given a lot of people a lot of hope, he's made a hell of an impact on a lot of lives and he raised a ton of money for cancer research. Look, I love the guy."

Known biking enthusiast Jake Gyllenhaal, 31, has also reportedly been in talks to play Lance Armstrong on the big screen.

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