by David Joaqui,
I recently got the chance to talk to Alex Gibney, director of such documentaries like Taxi to the Dark Side, Catching Hell, and his newest documentary The Armstrong Lie. I got the opportunity to ask him about his experience during the 2009 Tour de France, following Lance Armstrong, as well as what got him into making films.
I first asked Gibney if he believed Lance knew that if he didn’t win the Tour de France in 2009 that his lies would unravel.
Gibney told me Lance was so confident in winning that losing never crossed his mind. He was a master storyteller and Alex shows that in his film The Armstrong Lie.
I then proceeded to ask Gibney if he thought Lance cheated in 2009 or if he believed he raced cleanly, like Lance claimed he did.
Gibney does believe Lance intended to race without doping in the 2009 Tour de France, but that it’s hard to believe he didn’t. He believes Lance had an insurance plan if he couldn’t keep up with the field.
I followed that with asking Gibney if he still considers Lance Armstrong the 7 time Tour de France winner.
Gibney agrees with Lance that they could remove his name, but that it will still be shown that Lance won. An asterisk would be fit because Lance was the best; he just wasn’t truthful.
I continued with asking Gibney if after Lance admitted he had cheated from 1999 to 2005, if he thought Lance came to terms with his actions.
Gibney doesn’t think Lance has completely come to terms with what he did, and that Lance believes what he did wasn’t all that bad.
I asked Gibney if he sees A-Rod as the Lance Armstrong of baseball.
Gibney said they have some similarities, but Lance’s story is spectacular. It’s a story about him overcoming cancer and at a different level than A-Rod. But that the two haven’t come to terms with what they have done and attack those who try to disprove them.
My next question to Gibney was whether or not the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) kept Lance Armstrong’s positive tests under wraps for their own gains?
Gibney believes the UCI looked the other way when something would come up on Lance Armstrong’s test because they saw a vested interest in him. But now they see Lance as the perpetrator.
My final question about his film and Lance Armstrong was what he thought about Lance after all was said and done.
Gibney said on a day to day base he likes Lance and respects him as an athlete, but is disappointed in him because he can’t come to terms with his actions.
I moved away from Lance Armstrong and asked Gibney what inspired him to make documentaries.
Gibney told me he was inspired during his college years. He use to attend many college film nights, and some of his favorites were documentaries, because they were so powerful and showed real life. He first began making fiction films, but became frustrated making them and moved to making documentaries.
When I asked what his favorite movie of the last year was, Gibney answered Cloud Atlas.
When I asked what his favorite movie of all time was, Gibney couldn’t pick just one movie, but did name a few like Once Upon a Time in the West, No Country for Old Men, and The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers.
Being that we are a sports website as well, I asked Gibney what is his favorite sports team and sport in general.
Gibney told me his favorite team is the Boston Red Sox, which he is extremely excited about since they won the World Series, and his favorite sport is Tennis, which he still plays today.
My final question to Alex Gibney was what he thought about Lebron James.
Gibney said that Lebron is an incredible player, who is smart, powerful, and graceful. He was just disappointed he left Cleveland the way he did to create the super team.
Hopefully you guys enjoy reading my interview with Alex Gibney, as much as I did, and go check out his new documentary The Armstrong Lie. Be sure to check back on November 18th for my review of the film.