Marvel.com recently sat down with Punisher actor Jon Bernthal who granted the interviewer, and us, some incredible insights regarding his Punisher performance. Why is this important? Because the Punisher is important; he’s making his small screen debut in Daredevil Season 2. YAY! Anyway, Bernthal talks about his brutal Punisher portrayal with Marvel.com, and we here at The Source are absolutely convinced Bernthal will give us the very best Punisher performance EVER! Check out the following, especially informative excerpts from the aforementioned interview.
When asked what real word experiences or situations Bernthal drew from to properly inhabit the psychologically scarred headspace of the Punisher, Bernthal replied, “Well, I think that, fortunately and unfortunately, a dark headspace is nothing new to me. I have some experience with it in the characters that I’ve gotten to play and each one is so different and each one, I think, sort of requires its own process and its own method to get involved [in]. I will say that being a father and being a father of young kids, it’s a real game-changer for me. With a character like this, the trauma that he’s suffering from and what this man has gone through, I’m extremely grateful that this opportunity came to me after I was a father. I think it’s essential in playing the part and understanding what it would mean to fail your family in that way and to lose your family on your watch and how serious that is.
I think that another part is really trying to empathize and try to understand through every avenue that’s made available to you what it means to be a veteran of war and to see real war combat. This is a character that’s extremely important to the military and extremely important to members of law enforcement. This character, he means a lot to a lot of people. So there were a lot of days, in Brooklyn, when I first got there, [where I’d] be putting on fifty, sixty pound weights on my back and just walking back and forth over the Brooklyn Bridge, talking to myself. My own little crazy ways of getting into the character. This is a real responsibility and a real honor for me, and I just hope [with] all the hard work, that we got some of it right.”
Bernthal was then asked if it was possible for him to make audiences feel sympathy towards the Punisher, a character consistently involved in acts of aggressive ugliness.
“For me, it’s to be completely unapologetic and to move forward one hundred percent and not concern yourself. One of the beauties of television is that you have enough time that you don’t need to play everything in every moment. When you’re involved in something that’s very brutal and you know your audience is going to abandon you because of your actions, don’t shy away from that. Just do it. Don’t make it a half-measure; don’t take your foot off the accelerator. Go full force, and trust that you will have the opportunity down the road to show why [you did that].
You have to be bold enough to risk losing the audience. I think you just have to do that with a character like this and the great thrill for me, of playing a character on television, is the ability to lose them and win them back. Lose them and win them back and go full out. It was a constant sort of effort with me that if I fought for anything this season, that’s what I really fought for, is to be bold enough to stand or to risk losing the audience and to go full out, because I knew at the end of the day where this guy was coming from was a genuine place.”
Firstly, to properly show appreciation for the GREAT JOB Bernthal will be doing in Daredevil Season 2, adorn yourself with a piece of our AWESOME Punisher merchandise and say, “Thank you, Jon Bernthal!”
Secondly, repeat the instructions after “firstly.”
Debuting 3/18/2016 on Netflix, Daredevil Season 2 stars Daredevil/Matt Murdock, Foggy Nelson, Karen Page, Frank Castle/The Punisher, Elektra, Stick, maybe Kingpin, possibly Stilt-Man (but I really doubt it ), 7000 members of the Hand (probably not) and Typhoid Mary (no, but that would be AWESOME!).