Armstrong sat down for a candid chat with Oprah Winfrey last week (ends18Jan13) and admitted he had been lying for well over a decade about the banned substances he had taken to help him win cycling races.
The TV chat came months after officials at the United States Anti-Doping Agency stripped Armstrong of his seven Tour De France titles and banned him from the sport and McConaughey admits he's among the athlete's friends and fans who are still coming to terms with his confession.
Speaking to MTV News at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, the actor says, ""I have been following it, obviously, and my first reaction was I was p**sed off, I was mad. I then got kinda sad for him... I took it personally, which I think a lot of people have.
""(But) what was he supposed to do? Call me to the side and go, 'Hey man, I did it but don't tell anybody'. Then I would have really had a reason to be p**sed off at him, going, 'You want me to walk around holding this?'
""Where I am now is I've put myself outta the way and I am happy for this guy who has now chosen to enter this chapter of his life a truly free man, without this weight he had on his shoulder... that he's carried for 14 years.
""He's gonna take a lot of daggers and a lot of spears, and in a deserving way..., and some people are never gonna forgive, but that's OK... It's gonna be miserable but he's looking it in the eye and he'll handle it.