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John Bernthal Went Full Method Actor For The Punisher Role

Jess Hardiman

| Last updated 

John Bernthal Went Full Method Actor For The Punisher Role

Featured Image Credit: PA

Jon Bernthal has revealed he used method acting on The Punisher, saying he would tend to 'isolate' himself to get into the zone.

The actor recently appeared on The Howard Stern Show, where he spoke about his experience playing the titular vigilante.

"I never wanted to do the superhero thing, but that guy, you know he's just reeling and he's angry," he said.

"It's an important character."

Stern asked if the 44-year-old if he'd had to go and train for the role, to which Bernthal said he was 'training all the time'.

"Fighting, weapons, all that stuff," he said.

Credit: Netflix
Credit: Netflix

When asked if this was because he wanted the action to 'look real', Bernthal continued: "It's a character that's resonated with the law enforcement and military community, and that means everything to me.

"There's guys who have gone and fought for this country with the Punisher skull on their body armour - they've gone and died for this country with that. And [...] you've got to respect that and take that seriously. If there's something about that skull that emboldens somebody or fills somebody with something to go take the most important steps any person can take for this country, in the name of this country, that's something I have the utmost respect for, and I have to honour and get right.

"So if you're sitting there with some f***er who can't handle a gun, you're gonna be like, 'What are you doing?'

"You've gotta do it for them, the character belongs to them."

Bernthal confirmed that he would often walk up and down the Brooklyn Bridge with a bag of weights 'just the isolation and being alone'.

"He's a dark character, he lives in a world of darkness," he said of The Punisher's Frank Castle.

Credit: Netflix
Credit: Netflix

When asked if it was true that he wouldn't talk to his wife and kids for months while in character, Bernthal continued: "I isolate myself, that's for sure. I do talk to my wife - and she's sort of the only person I talk to.

"But I just wouldn't feel right about being out and about and going to restaurants and going to bars and s***, and then just showing up and playing this guy."

As for whether or not his kids could see him, he said: "They can. It's just in the beginning, I just wouldn't want to do that. I wouldn't want to be that guy around them.

"I'm not looking to have fun with that part - it's your job, man."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Bernthal said he wouldn't take it as far as making people on set refer to him as 'The Punisher', saying: "You call me whatever you want, but if you seeing you eating a bunch of doughnuts and a bunch of candy, I'm going to make fun of you - what is this, a birthday party?"

Stern clarified: "Because you're The Punisher?"

Bernthal replied: "Yeah, yeah."

Netflix cancelled the show after just two series, although earlier this year, Kevin Feige, Chief Creative Officer at Marvel Studios, said there could 'perhaps' be a Disney+ return for popular shows like The Punisher.

Speaking at Disney+'s virtual TCA press tour, Feige was questioned on whether shows like The Punisher, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Defenders would return to the Marvel Studios family.

He said, "I think we probably could do it, I think a lot of that stuff comes back to us."

Feige added: "There's always rumours online about things reverting, sometimes that's true, sometimes it's not, but I'm not exactly sure of the exact contracts but perhaps someday."

Topics: Entertainment, TV and Film, Celebrity, The Punisher

Jess Hardiman
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