Interview: Barry Pepper (We Were Soldiers, 2002)

Barry Pepper is going back to the battlefield. The 32-year-old actor, who grew up in the Gulf Islands after sailing the South Seas with his family for five years, and who got his start working in Vancouver’s film and TV scene, became internationally famous four years ago when Steven Spielberg cast him as a Bible-quoting sniper in Saving Private Ryan. Pepper’s career since then has included some box-office hits (Enemy of the State, The Green Mile) and one huge flop (Battlefield Earth), but he bounced back with an Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated performance as baseball great Roger Maris in 61*. Now Pepper is back on the big screen in another ultra-realistic war movie. This time, in We Were Soldiers (now playing at the Capitol Six), he plays a photojournalist named Joe Galloway, who witnesses first-hand the first major battle between American and Vietnamese troops in 1965. The film is based on a book by the real Galloway and Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore, the commanding officer played in the film by Mel Gibson.

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