Why Jon Bernthal Never Wants Punisher to Be Too Much of a Hero


Frank Castle’s Punisher already unleashed a bloodbath on New York City in Season 2 of Netflix’s Daredevil, but he’s not done. Marvel’s famed antihero, portrayed by Jon Bernthal, is getting his own standalone gig in The Punisher — just don’t expect him to suddenly morph into a classic hero.

“I always want to preserve the essence of Frank, and have the right and be bold enough to really turn my back on the audience, and not do things to win the audience’s favor, but rather stay true to the character and the essence of who he is,” Bernthal told Moviefone.

I think Frank is brutal. Frank is damaged. Frank is tortured. I think Frank, when he engages in violence, there’s something utterly satisfying and addictive for him to be doing that, and that may not be something that the audience can agree with or get behind. But I’ve always fought to preserve that, and I think that that’s a part of him. I think the pain and what’s behind the violence and the reason why he’s committing the violence, that’s a different story. I want to explore that, too… So I think that’s the real challenge: being bold enough to not make him too heroic, at least “heroic,” is important to me. That being said, I think there’s Frank Castle inside of everybody. I think being a father and being a husband, he’s a character that I deeply empathize with.

'The Punisher' poster revealed at San Diego Comic-Con 2017.

Entertainment Weekly

The Punisher has always been the definition of an antihero, participating in heroic deeds in a not-so-heroic way; he kills without shame, seeks revenge, and usually comes out the other end soaked in someone else’s blood.

Luckily, Bernthal really seems to grasp the importance of that to Frank Castle’s character. The Punisher will never be a perfect hero, and that’s just the way fans want him.

The Punisher Season 1 will premiere on Netflix sometime in 2017.

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