Jon Bernthal Talks ‘The Punisher’, Pit Bulls, and Family

An actor who has recovered from his past, but has to continuously relive that era in his roles. 
The Punisher Episode One

An actor who has recovered from his past, but has to continuously relive that era in his roles.

While Jon Bernthal is best known for his no-nonsense attitude and his gun carrying roles in The Punisher and The Walking Dead, his new interview with Esquire has set the record straight. He also has a love for dogs and knows how to get dirty when the need arises. Sometimes you just need to put your thumb up the ass of a Pit Bull.

All that aside, Bernthal had some demons of his own that he had to exercise. Apparently, he was getting into a lot of brawls ten years ago and it almost cost him his freedom. He was told by the cops after one particular brawl that,  “If that guy doesn’t wake up, you’re going away for life.” You wouldn’t know that man when you see Jon Bernthal today. He is a family man living in a quiet neighborhood. The only issue is that the persona he depicts on television is the lifestyle he desperately tried to recover from.

That leads Bernthal to be conflicted about his star-turning role as The Punisher. The show is so brutal that the New York Comic Con presentation of the show was canceled after Las Vegas shootings. There was even a delay of the actual launch of the show. Bernthal was unsure how to address the characters’ usage of guns. He knows how to handle weapons himself saying, “I’m a gun owner. I have a gun in my house to keep my family safe. I’m trained in that gun’s use. I know how to keep it away from my kids, and I know how to use it if I need to.” He added about current gun laws, “Should there be a way that a guy with mental issues like the asshole in Texas can’t get guns? Absolutely. We have to have a dialogue, and that’s not happening.” As for his feelings about alt-righters, “Fuck them.”

It has certainly been a long road for Bernthal coming up from The Walking Dead and now starring in his own Netflix series. He has a hard time seeing himself as a superhero though. He said, “That’s not what I watch.” With The Punisher he is certainly able to define his own type of superhero regardless of what is popular right now.

The Punisher is currently streaming on Netflix, with season 2 confirmed for an unspecified date.

Max Covill: News Writer/Columnist for Film School Rejects. It’s the Pictures Co-host. Bylines Playboy, ZAM, Paste Magazine and more.