Jon Bernthal may have only appeared in 20 episodes of The Walking Dead, but it served as the ideal boost for his career, and he’s now one of the most interesting character actors in the business that can always be relied on to deliver a strong performance no matter where he shows up. It’s been almost a decade since he was written out of the series, and yet AMC’s zombie tale is still shuffling along, although the end is now in sight.
As for Bernthal, since his stint as Shane Walsh wrapped up he’s gone on to share the screen opposite Dwayne Johnson in Snitch, work with Martin Scorsese on The Wolf of Wall Street, co-star alongside Brad Pitt in Fury, face off against Ben Affleck in The Accountant, lend support in Academy Award nominated films including Sicario, Baby Driver and Ford v Ferrari, while also turning up in acclaimed genre movies Wind River, Widows and The Peanut Butter Falcon, and that’s without even mentioning his time as Netflix’s Frank Castle, a role he’s regularly linked with reprising as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In a new interview, the 44 year-old revealed that he’s long since stopped watching the show that gave his profile the launchpad he’s leveraged to such great effect, and it’s unsurprisingly due to his jam-packed personal and professional schedule.
“I got really, really busy after The Walking Dead. I have three kids and I was kind of working like crazy. I’ll tell you, that show is and will always be sort of the center of my heart. I love that character, but more importantly, I love the people that made that show. I love that crew down in Georgia, they’re all family to me. Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Sarah Wayne Callies, Andy Lincoln, Jeff DeMunn, Melissa McBride, it just goes on and on and on. These people, it was really a beautiful group of people who were really all after something and did it with the spirit of collaboration and community, and it’s really the best of what I think this whole filmmaking thing can be.”
Bernthal’s success is proof that there’s life after The Walking Dead, as is Steven Yeun’s recent Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in Minari, and the majority of the principal cast should be just fine when the long-running comic book adaptation finally draws to a close after the eleventh and final season airs.