LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Nick Nolte is known for portraying the angry.

But his role as the fiery Col. Gordon Tall in ``The Thin Red Line'' may be his fiercest yet.

``Ferocity? That's fairly easy for me to access,'' said the 57-year-old. ``I've been delving into rage for quite some time.''

In ``The Thin Red Line'' the film adaptation of James Jones' World War II novel, Nolte's character is determined to overtake a hill on Guadalcanal and it threatens to break apart his troops.

In one scene, howitzers are pounding the earth behind Nolte as he yells at his captain over a field phone. Director Terrence Malick told Nolte he had to be more powerful on the phone than the howitzers.

``Of course I chose not to wear earplugs, so I couldn't hear for several weeks afterward,'' he said.