Jon Bernthal is an engaging and versatile actor both on the small screen and the silver screen. He stepped into the limelight as Shane Walsh on AMC’s apocalyptic horror shows the walking dead. He had a starring role in the first two seasons of the show and then was able to move on to starring and supporting roles in movies. But went back to the series format when he was cast as a frank castle in Netflix’s punisher through the marvel vigilante.
Known as the punisher has been portrayed by several actors including Dolph Lundgren and Thomas jane it’s Jon Bernthal who has left the biggest impression. He has won over critics and audiences with his soulful performance as the frank castle, in addition, he has given unforgettable supporting performances in movies like the wolf of wall street Sandford v Ferrari. He continues to be cast and extremely popular and critically acclaimed movies.
10 Facts About Jon Bernthal
10 He Studied Acting In Russia
Jon Bernthal became interested in acting in high school and was later accepted into Harvard’s master and dramatic arts program before that he was encouraged by his acting teacher alma becker to try out for the Moscow art theater school. Jon Bernthal went to Russia and was accepted into the school’s program. Jon Bernthal said
“I absolutely fell in love with Russian culture, Russian people. I felt like an actor, there’s real respect for the arts there that I don’t necessarily think too many of my peers at the time in America had.”
We all have that one person in our lives who’s like a guardian angel of some sort for john Bernthalthat would be his acting teacher alma becker his move to attend the Moscow art theater was at her advice. He also sports a tattoo of becker’s name on his right wrist becker was also the one who married Bernthal and his wife Aaron angle with whom, he has two sons and a daughter.
8 He Auditioned For The Roles of Rick And Shane
on the walking dead before landing his breakout role as unstable alpha males have Walsh on AMC’s the walking dead. John Bernthal nearly got cast in a different part it’s interesting to learn that he did not just audition for the part of Shane. He wanted to be rick to the original shore owner and the person responsible for bringing the walking dead to television.
Frank Derrabant had Bernthal audition side by side with Andrew lincoln thereby even having the pair audition sitting together in a creating burger. Bernthal ultimately was awarded the part of Shane and lasted two seasons on the show until his character was killed.
7 He Almost Turned Down Playing The Punisher
While Bernthal seems to be settling into playing frank castle with ease it turns out that the actor nearly turned down his starring role in Netflix’s the punisher speaking to variety’s remote-controlled podcast Bernthal revealed that suiting up for the world of superheroes and villains had never really appealed to him he said
“Fully candid, being part of a superhero franchise was not something that I really had an ambition towards, it Wasnt really on my radar.”
“A lot of the people that I really admire, actors that I really look up to have avoided that whole thing.”
Thankfully a dive into the pages of Marvel comic books gave Bernthal a taste of what the castle’s motives were and the characters haunted past seemed to strike a chord with him. He said
“He didn’t have any super (power), he didn’t have a mask. He was a grieving father and husband who was reeling from this unbelievably traumatic event.”
“There was something about that scared the you-know-what out of me and left me intrigued.”
6 He Stays In Character Mid-Shoots
When it comes to acting every actor has a different approach to the trade some people drastically change their appearance for a role while others stay in character at all times to stay in the role. In an interview with late-night talk show host, Jimmy Kimmel Bernthal revealed that he preferred to stay in character on the set of the punisher. He said
“It’s a lot of isolation and sort of not having too much fun. He lives in a world of darkness, and my job is to kind of embrace that.”
5 He Shot Some Scenes of The Punisher With A Broken Hand
Anybody who has seen the punisher knows that frank castle can inflict some serious pain on his enemies. The series has some brutal fight sequences some of which john Bernthal attempted without a stunt double while filming season two. He actually broke his hand and was knocked unconscious while filming.
He broke his hand on the first day of shooting but instead of taking time off, he continued to film fight sequences this resulted in emergency surgery and is likely why frank has a cast on for a good portion of season two not only is this a wild detail about the show but it just goes to show how dedicated Bernthal was to the character of the frank castle.
4 He Had A Crazy Workout Routine
Many actors are in incredible shape but bulk up, even more, to play a certain role this is very much the case for superhero movies and actors often have an intense workout routine to get in shape. The punisher was no exception as Jon Bernthal had a crazy workout routine.
Jon Bernthal explained to the men’s journal that the workout regime was quite intense and included activities like strength work metabolic conditioning and jujitsu workouts. He was also cautious with what he ate mainly eating lean meats and vegetables for the duration of the shoot. He also joked that he had been craving pizza but had to be careful with what he put into his body.
3 He Almost Punched out Oliver Stone
Jon Bernthal once almost got into a fistfight with Oliver Stone on the set of world trade center over a decade ago as the story goes things got somewhat intense on the set of the 2006 thriller about 911. Jon Bernthal was cast in the film in a fairly substantial role as a port authority police officer and Silverstone took a pretty aggressive approach in his direction of the up-and-coming actor at one point.
Stone apparently started yelling at the actors to call them out for being vain and he specifically singled Bernthal out as the worst of them, not one to take anything from anyone Bernthal who has had his nose broken 14 times some apparently even during fights stood his ground and fought back against the platoon director according to Bernthal he looked at Oliver stone and said
“Let me tell you something, dude. You might be Oliver Stone. But I will beat your [ Fc*k ] ass right here on this set. In front of everybody here, I will beat your ass.”
Following the encounter, Bernthal was approached by world trade center star Nicholas cage who provided his own commentary on the incident cage said
“Wow, man. There was adversity and you threw more adversity at it.”
Jon Bernthal said he and stone later patched things up and the two became friendly.
2 He Almost Spent The Rest of His Life In Prison
At one point john Bernthal’s life was filled with violence although his father was a corporate lawyer and his mother watched foster children. Jon Bernthal says that he and his friends were suburban kids but were always looking to do the most dangerous things at school, he and his friends would fight kids from other schools nunchucks were their weapon of choice.
His first trip to jail was at 17 when he was caught with dime bags. Jon Bernthal didn’t grow out of these violent habits the habits grew along with him if there was one incident that caused Bernthal to finally put his demons to rest it happened when he was in his 30s when a group of drunk men began to follow him home as he walked his dog at Venice beach one of the men became truly belligerent.
So Jon Bernthal turned and swung on him he hit the man hard enough to knock him out and when the man hit the ground his head split wide open Bernthal found himself handcuffed to a bench with a cop telling him
“If that guy doesn’t wake up you’re going away for life.”
Thankfully the guy woke up but not before Bernthal received three years of his probation and a two million dollar civil lawsuit to boot the case was settled out of court but it also changed Jon Bernthal for the better.
1 He Was Once Replaced By Andy Samberg
With his feature film career still developing, Jon Bernthal was excited to get a role in 2009’s I to love you man starring paul rudd and Jason single Bernthal played rudd’s brother but the familial attitude did not extend to the set, Bernthal said he was largely ignored by the cast he began to sense.