Fans of Netflix and Marvel‘s “Daredevil” show weren’t exactly as hot on Season 2 as they were Season 1, but there was one thing most agreed on: Jon Bernthal killed it as The Punisher. Many consider his the quintessential portrayal of Frank Castle, a character that’s been played by no fewer than four actors. However, if Bernthal’s to be taken at his words, viewers haven’t seen anything yet.
In a new interview with Awards Daily (via ComicBookMovie), Bernthal discussed how a character’s motivations is what defines their fighting style. In that sense, he claims, Frank Castle isn’t really The Punisher until the season’s end. “Beating someone up to drag them into jail is different than someone who is exercising his rage on people,” Bernthal said. “The Frank Castle you find in this story is not The Punisher. He’s reeling from the loss of his family. He’s driven by rage and is on a singular mission to find these people who took his family from him, and do it as brutally as possible.”
This makes sense given the character’s arc in Season 2, where he doesn’t fully embrace the Punisher iconography until the final episode.
Bernthal also talked about how he wasn’t necessarily interested in joining another comic book adaptation, having previously starred in early seasons of “The Walking Dead.” Once he delved into the motivations of Castle, however, he found himself attracted to the character’s very human — if not incredibly twisted — drive. “For me, it’s about the human being. He has no superpower. His superpower is his humanity. It’s his drive, his rage, and his loss. I could never have played this part if I weren’t a husband or father. Until you really understand what it’s like to love somebody more than yourself and to willingly give your life for them, only then can you understand what it would mean if they were taken from you.”
He also said his favorite scene as Castle was when he tells Daredevil about “what it’s like to come home and see his daughter. That was such a gift from John C. Kelley. I had been away from my kids for three months, and I was at the crux of my own torture, going through that,” Bernthal explained. “He’s in an unbelievably amount of pain. That speech was the anchor of the season for me.”
We’ll see what’s next for The Punisher when he returns in his own spinoff series, or perhaps even sooner if he shows up in Netflix’s “The Defenders” alongside Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist.
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