There’s a reason John Bernthal nailed his portrayal of the hardest man in comics, Frank Castle — he wasn’t afraid to dig deep into the fandom for inspiration. And that’s how he found ‘Dirty Laundry.’
When actors prepare for superhero roles, they’re usually quick to mention the piles of comic books they’re given by the studio to study. Jon Bernthal confirmed this was pretty much the case for his Punisher preparation for Daredevil — the only difference is, he also cited his love for ‘Dirty Laundry’, a deep-cut Punisher fan film.
At New York Comic Con, Bernthal told fans that he watched and read everything that was Punisher-related, including the 10-minute fan film from 2012. “I love ‘Dirty Laundry.’ You see that one? Once you devour and eat up and much as you can, my way is to make it as personal as possible. It was a great pleasure to watch all of those.”
What separates ‘Dirty Laundry’ from many other fan films is that it actually stars Thomas Jane, who reprises his film role from 2004.
The incredibly violent short film does a great job at distilling the character to his essence: violent, callous, and righteous in a way that borders on amoral. Fans tend to be agree that ‘Dirty Laundry’ is a near-perfect Punisher experience. In fact, after Bernthal revealed his admiration for the film, his performance as the Punisher suddenly makes a lot more sense. While the two takes on Frank Castle are unique, they both portray Castle as a stoic figure who simmers before exploding into violence.
Bernthal’s performance was one of Daredevil Season 2’s highlights, and it’s exciting to know that the positive reception in response the Punisher helped green-light a spinoff series on Netflix. While there is no confirmed date, Marvel revealed that The Punisher will come out sometime in 2017 on Netflix.