Jon Bernthal, the actor known for his tough-guy personas in roles in The Walking Dead, The Wolf of Wall Street and Fury, is opening up about his thoughts on emotionally healthy types of masculinity, unlike the often machismo characters he portrays. His fan-favorite portrayal of Marvel’s Frank Castle absolutely epitomizes that characteristic in the now-discontinued Netflix series The Punisher, which was also recently signaled by the actor as being a role he would be open to exploring in the future.
It might have been all the capsaicin from the very spicy wings he was consuming at the time that helped open up his softer side, or perhaps it’s because Hot Ones interviewer Sean Evans (H/T, ComicBook) is just that skilled at bringing out the inner thoughts of his guests.
Bernthal appeared on the aforementioned YouTube show where he was asked about his role as Tony Soprano’s father, Johnny Soprano, in The Many Saints of Newark. That’s when Bernthal began to reflect on what he perceives as true masculinity, the kind he would like to impart through lessons to his sons about the world, centering around how they move through society as men. Empathy and compassion are the key ingredients, he said.
“Having empathy for people, having compassion for people, helping people, wanting to be the kind of person that will be there for someone in need — that’s what I think being a dad’s about, being a man’s about. And I certainly… that’s how I’m trying to raise my boys, to have an open heart towards everyone.”
It’s a decidedly reflective bit of wisdom from The Punisher actor. Would you be excited to see Jon Bernthal reprise his role as Frank Castle in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?