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Into it: Barry Pepper

Actor Barry Pepper, what are you ...

... Reading?

I'm one of those readers who has several books on the go at once. I'm reading books on learning the guitar and learning Spanish, just for personal interest. I'm also reading Noam Chomsky's Failed States. The book I've been reading most recently is Don Quixote. Terry Gilliam had began shooting a film version with Johnny Depp. I saw a documentary ["Lost in La Mancha"] about that movie, and I thought, "I've got to read it." It's an excellent book – definitely in my top 100.

... Listening to?

I've been listening to The Strokes and Pearl Jam's latest. I am a huge fan of Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young. I am a big fan of their political commentary. What I like about Springsteen is that his music and his persona seem to change and evolve. He seems to approach his music in character. He tends to have that wonderful gravelly voice, and sometimes he can sound like Bob Dylan. I really have eclectic musical tastes. I don't know that there's much music I wouldn't listen to. When I visit Toronto next, I am going to see the Johann Strauss Orchestra with [violinist] André Rieu – he plays incredibly.

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... Watching?

I saw an amazing documentary on PBS about Bill Gates and Warren Buffett and their merger to fight poverty together. Those two guys are emblematic of everything great in our world, and I wish there were more people like them. They've achieved that type of success for a purpose. The Last King of Scotland stars Forest Whitaker, who is a personal friend. He spent two months researching the part of Idi Amin before he went to Africa to film. I was mesmerized by him. He really is the movie; he fills every frame. This year I was invited to join The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. I think I'll vote for Forest to win an Oscar!

Barry Pepper stars in "Flags of Our Fathers," an epic set in World War II, now in theaters.