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Director/actor Peter Berg and boxing

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Berg fell in love with boxing when he was a 14-year-old freshman at the Taft School in Connecticut. "I was on fire," he said, "a seething ball of energy moving at a speed I couldn’t explain." He was angry and disruptive "and diagnosed as a troublemaker," he said. "Today it’d be A.D.H.D., and I’d be Ritalined up." Instead a dean took him after class to his basement, where Berg and other disruptive students learned "to dissipate all our energy" by fighting. Boxing calmed him. "You can’t box angry," he said. "You have to be disciplined. Before boxing, I was this angry kid ready to fight if someone said, ‘Hello.’ " Through boxing, Berg became fascinated with what he referred to as "the psychology of violence," which has informed most of the things he has directed or acted in. Sports violence ("Friday Night Lights," "The Great White Hype"); criminal violence ("Very Bad Things," "The Last Seduction"); and military violence ("A Midnight Clear," "The Kingdom," "Battleship," "Lone Survivor"). But violence on the screen is never as viscerally satisfying as it is in the ring. "There’s a truth to the violence of boxing," Berg said. "You have a very real threat, an opponent." Movie violence is make believe. At Tapia, the manager taped up my hands while Berg shadowboxed in the ring, waiting for me. Berg is 51, hyperactive and lean, his long arms rippled with muscles and veins. Once my gloves were on, I pounded them together and stood up. Later that night I called my wife. She asked how the boxing went. I said, "I broke Peter’s jaw." She said, "I hope he can still talk." I told her I was kidding. It was make-believe. I got a lesson on the heavy bag instead.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/18/magazine/can-peter-berg-redeem-himself-after-battleship.html?pagewanted=all
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