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HOPPER JUMPS SIDES IN DRUG SCENE

Actor-director Dennis Hopper was in New Orleans more than 20 years ago to make "Easy Rider," in which he played a biker into drugs. Now he's back, but on the other side of the law.

"I feel that it's important to tell the other side of the story, and this is the other side of the story," he said.

He's playing the role of a federal drug informant in an HBO film about Barry Seal, a Drug Enforcement Administration agent who was gunned down four years ago after he was convicted of a drug conspiracy charge.

" 'Easy Rider' introduced cocaine as a street drug. Before 'Easy Rider,' cocaine was thought of as a drug of kings. It was a very, very expensive drug and very rare," Hopper said. "It was also my drug of preference when I was a user. So I just felt like this was an important film to sort of tie up loose ends."

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