Ben Foster has come a long, long way from his days on Disney’s Flash Forward. The 34-year-old Boston native has grown into a method actor, eating dirt for his role in Lone Survivor and using glaucoma drops to appear high in Alpha Dog. He even once lived on the street to prepare for a bit part in Rampart. For his role as cycling cheat Lance Armstrong in the new film The Program, however, he took things to another level by actually injecting himself with performance-enhancing drugs.
“I don’t want to talk about the names of the drugs I took,” he told The Guardian. “Even discussing it feels tricky because it isn’t something I’d recommend to fellow ators. These are very serious chemicals and they affect your body in real ways. For my own investigation it was important for me privately to understand it. And they work.”
While they no doubt helped him get into the mind and body of Armstrong, Foster’s own body had to deal with the consequences. “There’s a fallout. Doping affects your mind… I’ve only just recovered physically. I’m only now getting my levels back.”
We’ll see how the doping impacted his portrayal of Armstrong when The Program premieres on Sunday at Toronto International Film Festival, followed by a wide release later this fall. Directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen) with a script from John Hodge (Trainspotting), the film also stars Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids), Lee Pace, Dustin Hoffman, and Jesse Plemons. Watch the trailer below.