Florida Keys

This actor just arrived in Key West for the first time in years — and noted a big change

City Manager Jim Scholl and Mayor Teri Johnston welcome actor Tom Berenger to City Hall, along with Mayors Emeritus Craig Cates and Dennis Wardlow
City Manager Jim Scholl and Mayor Teri Johnston welcome actor Tom Berenger to City Hall, along with Mayors Emeritus Craig Cates and Dennis Wardlow

Actor Tom Berenger was back in Key West for the first time in nearly 40 years. And he had some things to say about what he saw.

Berenger, best known for his role in “Platoon,” appeared at the Key West City Commission meeting on Tuesday and shared some observations about modern-day Key West.

“I haven’t been here since 1979,” Berenger told the audience and the commission. “I guess some of you were here in 1979, I suppose. But boy it has sure changed. I don’t think there were any high-end stores at that time. There were some good restaurants but no high-end stores. I don’t think it was quite as congested.”

He turned to the commission and said, “But I guess that just means more work for all of you.”

Berenger, 69, is in town for the showing of “Brothers in Arms,” a documentary on the making of the 1986 Oliver Stone film “Platoon,” which was part of the Key West Film Festival. He thanked the city, presented a proclamation to city leaders and posed for a photo with everyone.

Even as city leaders were gathering for the photo, Berenger kept reminiscing.

“It seemed more blue collar then,” Berenger said, of the late 1970s.

Berenger thanked the community for hosting him and his wife for the past week.

“We have been treated so nicely and graciously by the Navy and all the conchs here in Key West. Thank you for that. “

He congratulated newly elected Mayor Teri Johnston on her win.

City Manager Jim Scholl introduced Berenger as “a Hollywood legend,” ticking off his film credits that include “The Big Chill,” “Major League,” “Sniper” and “Inception.” He was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in “Platoon.”

  Comments