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Peter Berg

Peter Berg

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: March 11, 1964 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: Cast ...
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NOTES

"I worked in almost every capacity in film and television. I had almost every job: driver, prop man, grip, production assistant." --Peter Berg to Manohla Dargis in Us, June 1996

About seeing the first cut of "Very Bad Things": "I was sick to my stomach ... It was three hours, and I couldn't talk for about a day and a half afterwards. I didn't know where to begin. And my editor, who was fantastic, Stan Lebenthal, calmed me down and got me on my feet, and together we started attacking each scene. All these things that you hear--'editing is the greatest part, you really find the movie in the editing room'--are all true. It's by far the most fun part of making the movie. And the biggest challenge in editing this film was finding the right tone, because, for example, when Tripplehorn and Christian Slater fight--there was a shot at the end with Jeanne Tripplehorn dead, a really great shot. But when I left it in it was just too much. Things broke. So it was finding the right tone for a comedy." --Berg, quoted in Filmmaker, Fall 1998

"I have very little desire to be a movie star. Robert Mitchum said it once--it's just not a man's job. There's something tremendously unsatisfying about it. You make a lot of money, you have a lot of opportunities, you get to sleep with a lot of very beautiful women, you get free food at restaurants. But you service other people's visions. Your privacy is stripped from you. People perceive you as something you're not. It's not half as interesting as going off and thinking up stories to tell." --Berg to Movieline, November 1998

On Las Vegas as the inspiration for his directorial debut, "Very Bad Things": "I couldn't help but notice these packs of white, suburban, middle-to upper-middle-class men roaming around the city, with just the look of real trouble in their eyes. I always felt like Vegas was kind of a lock that opened up a cage that allowed various different demon monsters to come charging out of men--things that men generally keep inside as they're going through the course of their normal lives.

"And I started wondering what might happen if you took a group of fairly normal people, going through life in as normal a way as one could theoretically imagine . . . and you put them in this big pot of oil and turn up the flame.

"It was a situation ripe for satire, and I was trying to make a satire, certainly not something that's meant to be taken literally." --Berg to Steven Rea in the Philadelphia Inquirer, November 22, 1998

"I write some pretty twisted shit. I like to have some people around me who are a little older, a little more conservative, and let them pull me back. I know that, left to my own devices, the stuff that really entertains me and that I really enjoy is probably not fit for mass human consumption." --Berg, quoted in Time Out New York, November 26-December 3, 1998

About his research at Bellevue for "Wonderland": "Spending time at a psychiatric hospital, one is forced to take a long, hard look into the mirror and wonder why it is that neurotransmitters are functioning in a way that allows me to button my shirt properly and put my napkin in my lap for dinner. There were many times when I started feeling like I was cracking up after eight hours at Bellevue." --Berg to Talk, March 2000

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