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Biography #2 (for The Snow Walker)

In just a few years, Barry Pepper has become one of the most sought after talents in Hollywood. Pepper gained critical attention for his remarkable portrayal of Private Jackson in the Academy Award and Golden Globe winning feature Saving Private Ryan. Praised by Entertainment Weekly as "having and indelible presence as the stoic marksman-sniper, and by The New Yorker as ferrety and laconic providing Hanks with solid support, Pepper was also named Breakout Performance of the Year" for his role in Saving Private Ryan by Premiere Magazine and the Motion Picture Club. Other feature credits include the Academy Award winning feature The Green Mile with Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke-Duncan, and the Bruckheimer/Bay thriller, Enemy Of The State with Will Smith and Gene Hackman.

Pepper grew up on the West Coast of Canada in a somewhat unconventional style. At the age of five, his family launched the 50-foot sailboat they had hand built in a huge barn behind their home. Christened the Moonlight, she would be their home for the next five years on an incredibly adventurous voyage throughout the islands of the South Pacific. Like the early explorers before them, they used a sextant and celestial navigation to find places like Fiji, Tahiti, Hawaii, and Marques Islands. Pepper was educated by his parents through correspondence courses and was enrolled in public school, whenever possible, in such places as Raratonga and New Zealand. The Polynesian people Pepper met on the remote islands expressed themselves through laughter, dance and music. These forms of expression inspired Pepper's love of performance. With no television, and confined to a sailboat for three weeks at a time, Barry intensely nurtured his imagination and creative skills.

The Peppers returned to Canada and moved to Denman Island, a small island between the mainland and Vancouver Island. The town was eclectic full of farmers, hippies, poets, artists and musicians. After two years in college (marketing and graphic design), he re-discovered passion for acting through his involvement with the Vancouver Actors Studio and never looked back.

While balancing his busy production schedule, and commuting between Los Angeles and Vancouver, Pepper tries to find time to pursue some of his favorite activities including surfing, sky diving, riding horses, hockey, fly fishing, rock climbing and mountain biking. Pepper takes the same approach to acting that he does sky diving. He says, "You've got a knot in your stomach and you're scared out on the wing, but the horizon is the most beautiful thing you've ever seen. Then, all of a sudden your flying."

Pepper co-starred in Spike Lee's 25th HOUR for Buena Vista Films and the critically acclaimed We Were Soldiers for director Randall Wallace. Also recently, Pepper starred in the New Line feature Knockaround Guys, produced by Lawrence Bender, and also starring John Malkovich, Dennis Hopper, Vin Diesel and Seth Green.

Pepper is currently working on White on White, filming on the Isle of Man. Based on Patricia Highsmith's Ripley series, and directed by Roger Spottiswoode, the film is being produced by Infinity Media's William Vince and Michael Ohoven in partnership with Cinerenta.

Pepper has also garnered critical acclaim for his work on the small screen. His starring role in the HBO feature 61 earned him nominations for Golden Globe, Emmy and Critic's Choice Awards. The film tells the story of the competition between the New York Yankee's Roger Maris (Pepper) and Mickey Mantle (Thomas Jane) to break Babe Ruth's single season homerun record. The film was directed and executive produced by Billy Crystal and premiered on HBO.

Pepper's other feature credits include the Academy Award winning feature The Green Mile with Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke-Duncan, and the Bruckheimer/Bay thriller Enemy Of The State with Will Smith and Gene Hackman.

Bio courtesy Lionsgate Films for "The Snow Walker" (12-Oct-2003)


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