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Jon Bernthal Explains Why It’s so Important for Him to Do the Punisher Justice in Daredevil



With Daredevil‘s second season rapidly approaching, we’re all getting a little excited to see how the show handles its expanding cast of characters. One of the new additions when the show returns in March will be the Punisher, and actor John Bernthal is incredibly intent on getting the character right above all else.

Not a huge fan of the character to begin with, Bernthal had a little catching up to do to see what Punisher was all about when he got the part. He told Comic Book Resources in an interview,

I had to learn. I mean, you always have to learn, right? And that’s been one of the joys of doing the job. I think what sort of hit me like a tidal wave is not just how much there is out there, but again, how important he is to so many people.

One of the real joys for me about this process was to go into comic book shop after comic book shop all across this country and just sell them out of “Punisher” stuff. That was a real joy for me. I’m a fan for life now.

In doing that research, Bernthal developed his own favorite storylines and takes on the character (he mentions Garth Ennis and Punisher MAX specifically, if you’re curious), but he didn’t get too attached, because he wanted to really get into who the Punisher is on the show more than anything. Of course, being involved in a Marvel show, he couldn’t actually say much about who the character is ahead of time, but he did explain a bit about why he felt so much responsibility in his portrayal of the Punisher:

I hope you don’t take this as being political, but every step along with way with this, I feel such an enormous—I’m extremely humbled to have this job. It’s an extraordinary honor for me. I take it as a responsibility the same way I would representing any soldier.

To me, it’s incredibly important not only that he’s military but that the specificity of what his military background is, where he served, what he did, who he served with, what were the circumstances of his service. And more importantly, I think who he was before he was in combat, and after—you’re going to have to wait and see, but I will say that it’s quite specific.

He also mentioned that the first few episodes would quickly lose the audience’s sympathy for the character and then work to gain it back, so we’ll be waiting to see how well they manage to pull that off with someone so “completely unapologetic” in Bernthal’s words.

(image via Marvel/Netflix)

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Dan is a video game modding hobbyist and secret ninja who lives in North Carolina with his wife, Lisa Brown, and his dog, Liz Lemon, both of whom are the best.