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'Battleship' Director Peter Berg Loses His Shit, Calls Israeli Reporter A Draft Dodger In Interview

by Benjamin Wright
May 16, 2012 10:59 AM
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Battleship” helmer Peter Berg certainly has a personality we’d describe as brash, whether he’s spouting out ideas for sequels to “Hancock” or making an argument as to why his upcoming blockbuster has little to do with the board game it shares its namesake with, he’s a filmmaker who likes to have his opinions be heard away from the cinemas where his films are played. While “Battleship” has certainly received some flack for its overtly jingoistic approach to the military, we have to admit that being proud of those in the armed forces is all well and good, until you start forcing your stance on others.

That’s exactly what Berg did at a recent press junket for “Battleship,” where he ranted about the political situation in the Middle East and belittled a 25-year-old Israeli reporter for his lack of military service. You know, everything that should be happening at the press junket for an overblown blockbuster picture based on a board game your parents played. The interview is awkward to say the least, with Berg clearly seeing this as an opportunity to really talk issues, even humorously back tracking into a tirade about his experience with the film – as if to jokingly mock the press day format. Still, it’s the stuff towards the end of the clip that stings, with Berg accusing reporter Danino Holt of being a “draft dodger” since his country requires its citizens to join the military at some point, with Berg telling Holt that “You’ve got to join the army mother f**ker.” He goes on to question his Jewish heritage and other inappropriate topics for this forum, but thankfully Holt takes it all in stride with a smile and impression of someone being bombed in the end. Perhaps Berg is suffering from a little press rounds exhaustion, but is that really an excuse to make this a question and answer session about someone’s service background?

Berg has more military sentiment on the way as he lines up the US Navy Seals actioner “Lone Survivor” with Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster and Taylor Kitsch in the lead roles. You may remember that Berg was also responsible for “The Kingdom,” which followed a team of U.S. agents who were sent to investigate the bombing of an American facility in the Middle East, so between that, and coming from a military family, presumably he believes he's allowed to lecture others? Even if Berg knows his stuff, we don’t believe this was the right way to handle things. Either way, his film is still a wretched piece of shit. You can watch the video below, courtesy of Pajiba.

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  • Zach | May 17, 2012 12:03 AMReply

    We knew Peter Berg was a mediocre director. Now we know that he is also deeply misinformed on the subject of Iran (and also, apparently, on Israel.)

    The point that too many people are missing is this: the threat of a "nuclear Iran" is nonsense, a scary story fabricated by the warmongers in Israel and the United States with the express purpose of furthering the expansion of US -led influence in the Middle East.

    Let me say it once: there is NO evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program. There is no evidence of even a PLAN for an Iranian nuclear weapons program. The Ayatollah Kohmeini - the guy above Ahmadinijad - has gone out of his way to state that nuclear weapons are immoral and un-Islamic, and has forbidden their development or use.

    It's one thing to be a hack director of shallow, crappy entertainment. It's another to be in the tank for the US/Israeli war machine. Berg is talking out of his ass, and sounding like a jingoistic chest-thumping war cheerleader in the process. Holt is right to be confused and offended.

  • AmosOz | May 16, 2012 4:58 PMReply

    We need man's like him in Israel,we have too much like this asshole reporter.

  • Zack | May 16, 2012 8:16 PM

    No country needs more douchebags with tiny penises.

  • fuck battleship | May 16, 2012 2:49 PMReply

    what a fucking asshole

  • Neil | May 16, 2012 1:31 PMReply

    Ahhh Americans and their misguided idea that the rest of the world see them as the good guys and not modern day crusaders for the mighty dollar/fossil fuels at the expense of everyone else. This man is a militaristic fool and a dreadful film maker.

  • Brian | May 16, 2012 1:29 PMReply

    I think he's off his face in that clip.

  • Zack | May 16, 2012 1:22 PMReply

    Boy, I'm glad there are manly men like Peter Berg who are still willing to serve their country by making movies that are essentially a child playing with his Transformers in the bath.

  • loralily | May 16, 2012 1:45 PM

    in terms of transformer playing in a bath. that's what you meant right?

  • Loralily | May 16, 2012 1:41 PM

    he is pretty hot, truth be told.

  • loralily | May 16, 2012 11:54 AMReply

    I don't think this is what people are making it out to be. He is posing complicated questions, not finding the answers. He isn't the first director to challenge interviewers on political issues.

  • loralily | May 16, 2012 5:45 PM

    deal. :)

  • dave | May 16, 2012 5:06 PM

    Let's agree to disagree. :)

  • loralily | May 16, 2012 4:30 PM

    p. berg didn't invent mandatory military service in Isreal. To me he comes across like kind of an asshole. But an asshole who has a point and also a pretty impressive and prolific career as a writer, director and actor. I think even Dylan wrote a song about him.

  • dave | May 16, 2012 4:19 PM

    It's not a new "concept" I suppose, but Peter Berg's not Bob Dylan. He's a hack director engaging his interviewer in debate simply because he's Israeli, and telling said interviewer to join the army, after accusing him of being a draft-dodger. He comes across like a total douchebag.

  • loralily | May 16, 2012 3:59 PM

    I will be sure to tell him his job the next time I see him. Engaging your interviewer in debate is not a new concept. look at dylan in don't look back.

  • dave | May 16, 2012 3:57 PM

    Since when is it his job to pose complicated questions? Why would he assume his interviewer knows the answers?

  • SoulHonky | May 16, 2012 12:14 PM

    But if the headline was "Peter Berg asks complicated questions" would you have clicked the link? Because that's the name of the game, sadly.

  • Beardy Man Child | May 16, 2012 11:39 AMReply

    I don't know what you are on about Berg does a great job in engaging the interviewer on a topic all the while bringing it back to his film which he loves and is proud of, that's a true professional right there.

    For example -
    "If you attack Iran now there are gonna fight you back. There is gonna be blood. Israelis will die. Right? No question. Would you rather take that now or let them get a nuclear bomb? It's the most serious issue facing our planet today, so that the movie Battleship which I am very excited to have directed, I love Rhianna she's a great actress, did a wonderful job in the film."

    Like to see Mel tie his new movie into his hatred of Jews

  • BEARDY MAN CHILD | May 17, 2012 11:12 AM

    Well it's better than calling the reporter a c*nt and storming out of there

  • Zack | May 16, 2012 1:22 PM

    I don't think "KILL ALL OF THE BROWN PEOPLES also I directed a movie yay me" is that good a job of "bringing it back".

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