Frank Castle, AKA the Punisher, is one of the most popular anti-heroes in the Marvel universe, mainly because his code of conduct and moral outlook is so different from the likes of the Avengers. Whereas they believe in saving lives and justice, the Punisher uses lethal force to get the bad guys off the streets. He’s not a wise-cracker or a charmer, and we’re not really meant to like him, but he does get the job done.
Thankfully, it seems that the man who’s currently bringing him to life on screen, Jon Bernthal, totally understands that about the character. While speaking to MovieFone, the actor revealed that he campaigned on set to keep Frank from getting too “heroic” in his upcoming spinoff series, The Punisher:
“It’s an interesting predicament. To put [the Punisher] as the central character is interesting, I think that my big struggle with him is that one of my biggest kind of things that I’m always fighting for on set is, 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.
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.”
Bernthal first appeared as the Punisher in Daredevil season 2 – and immediately wowed Marvel fans and critics alike with his performance. Even with Dolph Lundgren, Thomas Jane and Ray Stevenson all playing the character previously, Bernthal proved himself easily the best take on the anti-hero yet and we can’t wait to see more from him.
Thankfully, we’ll (presumably) get a chance to do just that when The Punisher turns up in The Defenders, which drops on Netflix this Friday.