Actor Peter Berg

Peter Berg (born March 11, 1964) is an American director, producer, writer, and actor. His directorial film works include the black comedy Very Bad Things (1998), the action comedy The Rundown (2003), the sports drama Friday Night Lights (2004), the action thriller The Kingdom (2007), the superhero comedy-drama Hancock (2008), the military science fiction war film Battleship (2012), the war film Lone Survivor (2013), the disaster drama Deepwater Horizon (2016), the Boston Marathon bombing drama Patriots Day (2016), the action thriller Mile 22 (2018), and the action comedy Spenser Confidential (2020) the latter five all starring Mark Wahlberg. In addition to cameo appearances in the last six of these titles, he has had prominent acting roles in films including Never on Tuesday (1989), The Last Seduction (1994), The Great White Hype (1996), Cop Land (1997), Corky Romano (2001), Collateral (2004), Smokin’ Aces (2006), and Lions for Lambs (2007).

In television, Berg developed Friday Night Lights (2006–2011), adapted from his film, earning two Primetime Emmy Award nominations. As an actor, he is best known for his role as Dr. Billy Kronk on the CBS medical drama Chicago Hope (1995–1999).

Early life

Berg was born in 1964 in New York City, the son of Laurence (“Larry”), a US Marine, and Sally (Winkler) Berg. Berg’s father was Jewish, as was his maternal grandfather. His mother was Christian.

Through his mother, Berg is a second cousin of writer H. G. Bissinger, whose book Friday Night Lights provided the basis for Berg’s film and TV series of the same name. His mother co-founded a youth group named Catalog for Giving and worked at a psychiatric hospital when Berg was growing up. He has a younger sister, Mary.

Peter was a student in the Chappaqua School System. After graduating from The Taft School in 1980, Berg attended Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he majored in theater arts and theater history. He graduated in 1984, and in 1985 moved to Los Angeles to pursue his film career.[citation needed]


Berg put his acting aspirations on hold when he first arrived in Los Angeles, choosing instead to learn about the film business as a production assistant. He acted in 21 Jump Street and Quiet Victory: The Charlie Wedemeyer Story (both in 1988). He acted in Never on Tuesday, Miracle Mile, Race For Glory, Shocker, Heart of Dixie, Tale of Two Sisters and Going Overboard in 1989. He acted in Genuine Risk and Forradalom után in 1990. He appeared in Late for Dinner and Crooked Hearts in 1991. In the early 1990s, he appeared in A Midnight Clear, A Case for Murder, Fire in the Sky, Aspen Extreme, Across the Moon, Uneviled and F.T.W.

In 1992, Berg gained recognition for playing a World War II soldier in the film A Midnight Clear. In 1998, Berg made his feature directorial debut with Very Bad Things, a black comedy starring Jon Favreau, Christian Slater, Jeremy Piven, Daniel Stern, and Leland Orser. The film, which was shown at the Toronto and San Sebastian Film Festivals, received mixed critical reception. In 2000, he created Wonderland, an edgy dramatic television series set in an asylum. While the ABC show received rave reviews and garnered a cult following, it failed to deliver ratings and was quickly canceled.

In 2003, Berg directed the action comedy The Rundown. Starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Seann William Scott, the film received positive reviews from critics but disappointed at the box office, only grossing 80 million of its reported 85 million budget. In 2004, Berg began work on his third directorial effort, Friday Night Lights, a football film based on the New York Times bestseller written by Buzz Bissinger.

In 2006, Berg developed and became executive producer of NBC’s Peabody and Emmy Award-winning drama Friday Night Lights, based on the novel and film of the same name.[citation needed]

He appeared in the war film Lions for Lambs (2007) as Lt. Colonel Falco. Berg followed up in 2007 with The Kingdom, a Michael Mann-produced action-political thriller set in Saudi Arabia, starring Academy Award winners Jamie Foxx and Chris Cooper, also with Jennifer Garner whom Berg met when he appeared in a two-part episode of Alias where he played Garner’s ex-boyfriend. Berg’s film Hancock, starring Will Smith, Charlize Theron and Jason Bateman, was one of the highest grossing films of 2008.

Berg directed the commercial featuring Alec Baldwin, which both The New York Times and Time magazine named best spot of Super Bowl XLIII. In 2009, Berg directed a two-hour pilot movie for a Fox television series Virtuality. Even though the show was not picked up for a full season, the pilot was released on DVD exclusively through Best Buy. Berg also directed the ESPN documentary “Kings Ransom” in 2009. Berg also wrote the film The Losers (2010).

Berg also directed the science-fiction/action film Battleship (2012) and the war film Lone Survivor (2013), an adaptation of Marcus Lutrell’s book of the same name. Variety writer Justin Chang said Berg delivered “his most serious-minded work to date with Lone Survivor.” Berg is developing a sequel to Hancock and producing a live-action version of the graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars.[citation needed]

In 2013, Berg created the opening animation sequence for ESPN’s Monday Night Football. The 80-second graphic featured Darth Vader (from Star Wars), Pac-Man, President Ronald Reagan and some highlights of MNF games from 1970–2012. In 2014, he directed the first two episodes of HBO’s The Leftovers.

In 2016, Berg directed the film Deepwater Horizon, based on the Deepwater Horizon explosion. Berg replaced director J. C. Chandor, who had exited the film due to creative differences. That same year, he directed CBS Films’ Patriots Day, about the Boston Marathon bombing. Mark Wahlberg starred in both films.

In 2017, Berg was asked to direct an ambitious commercial for Hyundai, recorded after the kickoff of Super Bowl LI and aired right after the game. More recently, his Film 44 company was signed to a first look deal with Netflix.

Personal life

In 1993, Berg was married to Elizabeth Rogers; they divorced in 1998. He has one child with her.

On July 15, 2015, Berg criticized ESPN’s decision to honor Caitlyn Jenner with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award with an Instagram post in which he shared a Facebook photo of Army veteran Gregory D. Gadson (a double amputee who played a role in Berg’s Battleship film) alongside one of Jenner. It said: “One Man traded 2 legs for the freedom of the other to trade 2 balls for 2 boobs. Guess which Man made the cover of Vanity Fair, was praised for his courage by President Obama and is to be honored with the ‘Arthur Ashe Courage Award’ by ESPN?” Along with the shared post, Berg commented, “Yup.”

After Berg received significant criticism for the post, he later clarified his remarks, saying he had the utmost respect for Jenner and transgender individuals; however, he released another photo with statistics on veteran suicide, stating, “I also believe that we don’t give enough attention to our courageous returning war veterans, many of whom have sacrificed their bodies and mental health for our country and our principals [sic] – principals that include the freedom to live the life you want to live without persecution or abuse.”



Year Film Director Writer Producer Notes
1998 Very Bad Things Yes Yes No Also composer (“Walls Come Down”)
2003 The Rundown Yes No No
2004 Friday Night Lights Yes Yes No
2007 The Kingdom Yes No No
2008 Hancock Yes No No
2010 The Losers No Yes No
2012 Battleship Yes No Yes
2013 Lone Survivor Yes Yes Yes
2016 Deepwater Horizon Yes No No
Patriots Day Yes Yes No
2018 Mile 22 Yes No Yes
2020 Spenser Confidential Yes No Yes

Producer only

  • Pu-239 (2006)
  • Lars and the Real Girl (2007) (Executive producer)
  • Hercules (2014) (Executive producer)
  • Hell or High Water (2016)
  • Wind River (2017)
  • Year Title Role Notes
    1988 Quiet Victory: The Charlie Wedemeyer Story Bobby
    1989 Never on Tuesday Eddie
    Miracle Mile Band Member
    Race for Glory Chris Washburn
    Shocker Jonathan Parker
    Heart of Dixie Jenks
    Tale of Two Sisters Gardner
    Going Overboard Mort Ginsberg as Pete Berg
    1990 Genuine Risk Henry
    Forradalom után
    1991 Late for Dinner Frank Lovegren
    Crooked Hearts Tom
    1992 A Midnight Clear Bud Miller
    1993 A Case for Murder Jack Hemmet
    Fire in the Sky David Whitlock
    Aspen Extreme Dexter Rutecki
    1994 Across the Moon Lyle
    Uneviled Drug dealer
    F.T.W. Clem Stuart
    The Last Seduction Mike Swale
    Rise and Walk: The Dennis Byrd Story Dennis Byrd
    1995 Heavyweights Chef (uncredited)
    1996 The Great White Hype Terry Conklin
    Girl 6 Caller No 1—Bob
    1997 Cop Land Joey Randone
    1998 Very Bad Things Doctor
    1999 Dill Scallion Nate Clumson
    2001 Corky Romano Paulie Romano
    2004 Collateral Richard Weidner
    2006 Smokin’ Aces “Pistol” Pete Deeks
    2007 Lions for Lambs Lt. Col. Falco
    The Kingdom FBI Agent
    2008 Hancock Doctor Uncredited
    2011 POM Wonderful Presents:
    The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
    Himself Documentary
    2012 Battleship Sonar Mate Uncredited
    2013 Lone Survivor Navy Personnel
    2015 Trophy Kids Himself Documentary
    2016 Deepwater Horizon Mr. Skip as Pete Berg
    2018 Mile 22 Lucas


    Year Title Director Producer Writer Notes
    1994, 1997 Chicago Hope Yes No Yes Episodes “Colonel of Truth” and “Quiet Riot” (as Peter W. Berg)
    2000 Wonderland Yes executive Yes Creator;
    Episode “Pilot”
    2006 Friday Night Lights Yes executive Yes Creator;
    Episodes “Pilot” and “East of Dillon”
    2009 30 for 30 Yes Yes No Episode “Kings Ransom”
    Virtuality Yes executive No TV movie
    Trauma No executive No
    2011 Prime Suspect Yes executive No Episode “Pilot”
    2014 The Leftovers Yes executive No Episodes “Pilot” and “Penguin One, Us Zero”
    2015–2019 Ballers Yes executive No Episode “Pilot”
    2018 The People’s Fighters:
    Teofilo Stevenson and the Legend of Cuban Boxing
    Yes No No TV documentary, also narrator
    2019 Dare Me No executive No
    TBA The Green Beret’s Guide to Surviving the Apocalypse No executive No

    Teofilo Stevenson and the Legend of Cuban Boxing

    Year Title Role Notes
    1988 21 Jump Street Jerome Sawyer Episode “Champagne High”
    1995 Fallen Angels Augie / Joe Wales 2 episodes
    1995–1999 Chicago Hope Dr. Billy Kronk 106 episodes
    1996 The Naked Truth 1 episode
    2002 The King of Queens Lil’ Eddie Episode “Kirbed Enthusiasm”
    Alias Agent Noah Hicks Episodes “Snowman” and “Masquerade”
    2008 Friday Night Lights Morris “Mo” McArnold Episode “May The Best Man Win”
    2008–2010 Entourage Himself Season 5 and Season 7
    2011 Prime Suspect Deputy Chief Daniel Costello 2 episodes
    2012 Californication Himself Episode “The Way of the Fist”
    2014 The Leftovers Pete 2 episodes
    2015–2017 Ballers Coach Berg 7 episodes
    2017 Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television Himself Episode: “Eight Is the New Se7en”

    Music videos

    Year Title Artist
    2003 “Addicted” Enrique Iglesias
    2008 “Keeps Gettin’ Better” Christina Aguilera
    2012 “One More Night” Maroon 5
    2014 “Maps”

    Awards and nominations

    Year Award Category Film Result
    1996 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Chicago Hope Nominated
    1997 Nominated
    1998 Nominated
    Deauville American Film Festival Award Fun Radio Trophy Very Bad Things Won
    Grand Special Prize Nominated
    San Sebastián International Film Festival Award Golden Seashell Nominated
    2005 AFI Award Movie of the Year Friday Night Lights Won
    ESPY Award Best Sports Movie Won
    Teen Choice Award Choice Movie: Drama Nominated
    USC Scripter Award Best Film
    (Shared with Buzz Bissinger and David Aaron Cohen)
    Young Artist Award Best Family Feature Film – Drama Nominated
    2007 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series Nominated
    Writers Guild of America Best New Series
    (Shared with Bridget Carpenter, Kerry Ehrin, Carter Harris,
    Liz Heldens, David Hudgins, Jason Katims, Patrick Massett,
    Andy Miller, Aaron Rahsaan Thomas and John Zinman)
    2008 Golden Eagle Award Best Foreign Film Hancock Nominated
    2011 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Drama Series Friday Night Lights Nominated
    2013 Golden Raspberry Award Worst Director Battleship Nominated
    Worst Picture Nominated
    Golden Trailer Award Best Summer Blockbuster 2012 TV Spot Nominated
    Houston Film Critics Society Award Worst Film Nominated
    Satellite Award Best Adapted Screenplay Lone Survivor Nominated
    2014 Writers Guild of America Award Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
    Saturn Award Best Director Nominated

    External Links

    Actor Peter Berg – Wikipedia

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