Date: 24th April 2001
MEL GIBSON and his We Were Soldiers Once... and Young (2001) co-stars had to sign a liability waiver before undergoing a rigorous boot camp training schedule to prepare for the action movie.
Gibson and Battlefield Earth (2000) star BARRY PEPPER admit that they faced death for real before filming even started. Pepper recalls one particular night when he thought his life was over: "There was this one obstacle you have to do at night with live ammunition firing. "The drill sergeant is barking, 'Whatever you do, do not stand up,' and that's the only thing circling your mind as you crawl through the mud and sand underneath barbed wire with monstrous mortar explosions going off all around you. It was so intense."
Ironically, Pepper, who plays a photojournalist in the movie, wasn't actually required to undergo the boot camp training. He adds, "I just couldn't resist. It looked like so much fun. It was the most amazing experience of my life." (KL/LADN/PDD)