barry pepper knives

Here’s something that slipped under the radar – actor Barry Pepper posted a YouTube video last December in which he showed off his previously unknown blacksmithing ability. What’s more, he used this hobby to craft a knife he personally designed for his character in the upcoming Maze Runner: The Death Cure.

We always knew Pepper was an intense performer ever since his breakout performance in Saving Private Ryan, and he has always managed to play characters that have plenty of use for a knife. This has apparently turned into a bit of a passion project for him, in which he tries to personalize the role by designing items for his characters, either with the aid of the movie’s prop master or by himself in his smithy.

And yes, Pepper does offer a tour of his personal forge in a video that you can watch below.

Sometimes that ends up being a ring or a necklace, but it seems he has an affinity for knives. In the video, we are given a quick tour of his previous creations, including  Lucky Ned Pepper’s knife from True Grit, Jackson’s blade from Saving Private Ryan, and Captain Fuller’s saber from The Lone Ranger.

But for a good portion of the video, we see Pepper crafting the weapon that will be used for his character of Vince in Maze Runner: The Death Cure, which he rightfully calls a “badass post-apocalyptic knife.” It’s appropriately forged from an old railroad spike that he heats up and flattens on his anvil.

He sharpens it to a point (I hope the other actors now know to be careful around him) and snaps a homemade handle on it, admiring it as something his character Vince would be able to create by himself in the mountains.

“This isn’t very advanced blacksmithing, but I’m not a very advanced blacksmith,” he says. That may be the case, but it’s still pretty damn impressive either way, and shows a dedication to character that few other actors show.

During the video Pepper also shows off designs for a saber he’s crafting for a series he’s developing called Trail of Blood. If all goes well, he will produce and star in the series, which is set in post-Revolutionary War America. He will play a frontier preacher whose only child is taken by the Harpe brothers, a real-life duo who are infamous for possibly being the United States’ first serial killers.

So yes, a knife would definitely come in handy for the role. Pepper has a long chunk of steel ready to craft into a saber for it, so hopefully he’ll shoot a video showing us the process.

For now, Pepper is currently filming Maze Runner: The Death Cure in Africa, and documenting his experience there as well.

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