This is from the July 1997 article of Cosmopolitan magazine. All copyrights belong to Cosmopolitan.
Ask Peter Berg about the first time he was paid to perform and you may have to endure a verse or two of "Convoy," the 70's novelty song about truck drivers that netted the college-age Berg and two "Convoy"-ettes $1000 at a lip-sinc competition. "It was a dark of the moon on the sixth of June in a Kenworth full of logs... said Big Ben this here's the Rubber Duck and I'm about to put the hammer down....." "It came down to us and this group of drag queens, and we took 'em," boasts the actor, who's now going into his third year as Dr. Billy Fronk on TV's Chicago Hope. Berg, 33, is about to put the hammer down again on the big screen as a womanizing Jersey cop, opposite Robert DeNiro and Sylvester Stallone, in next month's film COP LAND,.
Q: Have you ever used the line "I'm not a doctor but I play one on TV?"
A: No, because I love pretending I'm a doctor. People open up to me about all their ailments.
Q: Do people actually expect you to have real medical expertise?
A: All the time. I was in a bar in Las Vegas and a person overdosed on this drug calles GHB [gamma-hydroxbutyrate]. I put him in a taxi and did full CPR all the way to the hospital. The doctor's told me I saved his life.
Q: What is the wierdest thing you've learned about the human body?
A: That you can remove about 90% of someone's bowels and they'll still live!
Q: What kind of role would you like to play that you haven't had the chance to yet?
A: Someone that you assume you can trust intensely but who is insanely out of sync, like a guy who's addicted to drugs and flying 747s.
Q: You recently starred onstage with ER's Noah Wyle in the gay-themed drama The 24th Day. Who had the most groupies?
A: Well, Noah would get these tour buses full of teenage Japanese girls. They had no idea what the play was about.
Q: The play gets quite violent. Did you ever get hurt during a performance?
A: One night, Noah accidentally cut open my head with a candlestick onstage, and all this blood started pouring out. We stopped the play, and I wrapped duct tape around my head and finished the show. Afterword, I went to the emergency room and got stitched up.
Q: You ended up being sent to the ER because of the guy from ER?
A: Yeah, and I told them Noah Wyle put me there, and they're like "So how come he's not sewing you up if he's such a big shot?"
Q: Is there a recurring theme to the letters you receive from female fans?
A: That they want to have sex me with me!
Q: You've been married for almost four years. Have you ever wondered what the last few years would have been like if you were single?
A: I think the ability to have meaningless sex with vast numbers of women would wear itself thin very quickly. If I weren't married, I would probably be in a fairly substantial relationship.
Q: How did you learn the facts of life?
A: My dad gave me the most technical lecture imaginable about ovulation, periods, sperm counts, and eggs. I just sort of stared at him and became really grossed out.
Q: What did you get picked on for when you were growing up?
A: I got picked on because I didn't know the words to Grateful Dead songs.
Q: What were you like in high school?
A: I remember telling my parents that I didn't want to be "just another brick in the wall." That was my mantra. Of course, I didn't credit Pink Floyd, so my parents thought I had written that line, which made me appear to be more intelligent than I really was.
Q: The ever-buff Sylvester Stallone really let himself go for COP LAND.
A: Oh yeah, he was fat. I applaud a man, at that point in his career, when he sure doesn't need the money, he doesn't need the headache, but is somehow feeling a calling to create something. It is a testement to his creative spirit. I hear the weight's all off now.
Q: What's the best perk of your job?
A: Being able to have people open up to me in a way that they wouldn't if they didn't know me. I can travel to places where normally I would would just be a stranger, and people tend to want to put their best foot forward. It makes the world smaller and it makes people seem much kinder and it's easier to see the good side rather that the wall that we've all put up.
Q: What's the most unbecoming costume or uniform you've ever had to wear?
A: I just saw a picture from when I was 11 in my Cub Scout uniform. We had these long shorts and black socks. I did not look cool. I was not a good-looking Cub Scout.