Jon Bernthal may be a fan-favorite actor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe after his take on The Punisher, but he’s now revealed that he had no desire to be a superhero until appearing in Daredevil.
“A lot of the people that I really admire, actors that I really look up to have avoided that whole thing,” Bernthal explained. When he really looked at The Punisher as a character, he saw more than just a typical superhero. “He didn’t have any super (powers); he didn’t have a mask. He was a grieving father and husband who was reeling from this unbelievably traumatic event. There was something about that that scared the you-know-what out of me and left me intrigued.”
Bernthal’s time filming Daredevil Season 2 reaffirmed the actor that his decision to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe was right. “Seeing the liberty and the time that Charlie Cox was given — in the first episode he delivers this monologue. There’s so much patience,” he said. “You don’t see that much on TV and especially in that genre. They give the performance time to breathe and you get to know who the guy really is. And then I saw Vincent D’Onofrio do his thing. This is a world I want to play in.”
Bernthal’s been vocal frequently in the past that Frank Castle is in his bones, and that he has to remove himself from his family in real life to truly get into the mindset of the character. “I always try to gravitate to stuff that scares me. I love my wife and my kids more than myself. I’d willingly give my life for them,” the actor explained. “Until you understand love like that, you can’t understand what it would be like to lose it. Just that kernel of an idea, it scared me.”
He’s also scared about how fans of the comic books will react to his performance and The Punisher series. “I’ve become plagued with worry about it. There’s something about the act of reading a comic. The audience has to infuse and fill the breaks between the captions within their own imaginations,” Bernthal said. “There’s a real sense of ownership there. You have to honor that sense of ownership. You don’t want to get it wrong.”
Available now on Netflix, The Punisher stars Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle, Ben Barnes as Billy Russo, Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Micro, Amber Rose Revah as Dinah Madani, Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page, Daniel Webber as Lewis Walcott, Shohreh Aghdashloo as Farah Madani and Paul Schulze as Rawlins, with Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Marion James.
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