I can’t tell if this clip of Peter Berg on an Israeli talk show (hat tip: Pajiba) makes me like him less or more, but I’m leaning towards more. Either way, I can tell you this: he’s definitely not boring. Ostensibly there to discuss the movie he directed, Battleship, the $300 million board-game-based turd Universal is currently drowning the rest of the world in ads for, Berg, to the astonishment of the host, instead jumped into a subject more dear to his heart: a nuclear Iran.
What the f*ck is gonna happen in Israel? You got Bibi [Israeli PM Netanyahu], and what’s the Secretary of Defense’s name? You have TWO MEN who are now dictating the policy towards Iran. It’s a real mess, because you’ve gotta decide whether it’s better, to allow Iran to be armed, and whether a nuclear Iran is less of a threat, than an attacked Iran. If you attack Iran now, they’re gonna fight you back, right? There’s 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.
And then comes probably the most epic fluff-piece pivot in the history of shitty entertainment show interviews…
More so than the movie Battleship, which, you know, I’m very excited to have directed, I love Rihanna, she’s a great actress, did a wonderful job in the film… My Dad was a Navy historian…
“If Iran gets a nuclear bomb, millions of Israelis are gonna die. Rihanna is great by the way. What were we talking about again? Oh right, those towelheads are probably gonna nuke you.”
Incredibly, the interview gets even better when he pivots back.
BERG: ….have you been in the Israeli army?
BERG: What? How’d you get out of that, are you a draft dodger?
BERG: How old are you?
BERG: You gotta join the army, motherf*cker! How’d you get out of that?
INTERVIEWER: Well, it’s a long story–
BERG: What’s your name?
INTERVIEWER: I’m Jason.
BERG: Jason what?
BERG: Jason Holt. Holt doesn’t sound Jewish.
INTERVIEWER: My dad’s Jewish.
BERG: My dad is too. You don’t have to join the Israeli army?
INTERVIEWER: You do.
BERT: So when are you going to join?
INTERVIEWER: …We’re not having this conversation.
That was so amazing I actually had to check to make sure Jason Holt wasn’t a comedian and this wasn’t a bit. As far as I can tell, he’s not, and it wasn’t. As a general rule, I’m against people who play make believe for a living telling others they’re not a real man if they don’t join the military. But I give Peter Berg a lot of credit for making an interview about BATTLESHIP 1. actually about something, and 2. interesting. And if I ever start a secret police force, he’s the first person I’m hiring as an interrogator.
If you think this interview was nuts, you should see how animated he got during a later interview with another Israeli interviewer named “Mr. Roper.”