Barry Pepper picks up his Spotlight Award tonight, then returns to the Hollywood scene next month for the unspooling of his “Casino Jack” at the AFI Film Festival. The film casts Pepper as the real-life Michael Scanlon in the real-life drama of convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, played by Kevin Spacey.
Although Pepper has already graced such high-profile fare as “Saving Private Ryan” and “The Green Mile,” he’s no stranger to impersonating real folk, having essayed baseball great Roger Maris is HBO’s “61,” helmed by Billy Crystal. More reality: Pepper is Bobby Kennedy in History’s upcoming “The Kennedys,” the network’s first scripted series. And while the new “True Grit” is fictional, viewers may see a bit of Robert Duvall in Pepper’s assignment there. He plays the role of Lucky Ned Pepper, who’s no relationship to the thesp.