“Oh yeah, right there. Right on the equator.”
Images > RadioShack
AssistingLance JALPHONSE IN ACTION.
We caught up with actor, Matt Griesser, who
plays Lance Armstrong’s assistant, “Alphonse,”
in the RadioShack commercials, to see what
it was like to act with Lance and work with
director Christopher Guest. He was at home
in Los Angeles and told us he was drinking
coffee from his Juan Pelota mug.
What was it like working with
Christopher Guest? It was the fourth
time I’ve worked with him. I think
if it was the first time I would have
been a lot more nervous—if you
add the equation of getting to work
with Christopher Guest and acting
opposite Lance Armstrong. If I didn’t
have the experience of working with
Chris before it would have been more
Were you familiar with Lance
Armstrong before you got the job?
I absolutely had followed Lance in the
Tour de France. I’ve always followed
cycling. I wouldn’t say I’m a crazy fan,
but I’ve always paid attention to it and
certainly followed the Tour de France
every year. Even going back to when
I was a kid, I’d watch CBS Sports and
wait for the three-minute update with
Phil Liggett doing the voice over and
all the cheesy John Tesh music. Phil
Liggett to me is bicycle racing in all its
forms. If I hear Phil Liggett, I think it’s
an important bike race and I should be
watching. His voice is just attached to
cycling for me.
What really drew me to watching
cycling was growing up in Denver,
Colorado. My parents and I would
get in the Volvo wagon and head out
to Boulder and watch a stage of the
Coors Classic. I still have those little
round edge Kodak pictures that I took
while standing there. It was a cool
introduction to the sport.
Where did you shoot the commercials?
We actually shot all this in Austin,
Texas, in an actual office building.
The first time we shot, I heard
someone say Lance had gone on a
three-hour ride before we began
shooting at 11:00 am.
Were there any moments when you or
Lance would start cracking up? Lance
has a great sense of humor about the
riffing. It’s great because Lance has
to try and keep a straight face. What
usually ends a take is when we both
started laughing. There’s a lot of
cracking up. Lance and I joked quite a
bit in-between takes to keep the energy
up. It worked real well.
What’s next for Alphonse and
RadioShack? I’m not sure. I think
we are just going to have to see if
Alphonse continues to be part of
Lance’s world. I hope so. I’d play
Alphonse as long as they want me to.