7 reasons why The Walking Dead’s Jon Berthal is the hottest actor on TV right now
In case you didn’t already know, we absolutely love the new season of Marvel’s Daredevil, which has just been added to Netflix. Along with its world class writing, direction, and choreography, one of the main reasons we love the new series so damn much is new cast member Jon Berthal.
Having already won our hearts as complex Shane Walsh in The Walking Dead, as well as in his film roles in The Wolf of Wall Street, Fury, and Sicario, the 39-year-old actor has now punched and growled his way into a game-changing portrayal of Frank Castle, A.K.A. The Punisher – perhaps the grittiest antihero of the Marvel Comics Universe.
We think he might just be our favourite actor on TV at the moment; and we watch a whole lot of TV. So in celebration of the beauty that is the Bernthal, here are 7 reasons why you should love him too.
1. He’s the best Punisher we’ve seen so far
Casting directors are acutely aware that it’s nigh on impossible to cast an actor in a comic book role without invoking the ire of internet fanboys and girls. But on June 9th of last year, an overwhelming consensus agreed that Bernthal and his perpetually broken nose would make the perfect Punisher.
“Growing up, I was attracted to danger and to trouble. This art, this craft, this work gave me direction. All of a sudden, that same wildness ended up being one of my greatest weapons”, he revealed in a recent interview. And indeed, that raw energy is what makes him so suited to the rage-filled, vengeful Punisher.
He’s also humble, though. When asked for his response to the hype surrounding his casting, this is what Bernthal said: “Part of me would rather everybody had said ‘That’s the worst, that guy sucks’! [It] did not embolden me, or let me hold my chin high. It just said, ‘Time to go to work, motherf***er'”. Just how Frank Castle would’ve wanted.
2. He’s versatile
Far from a one-trick pony, Bernthal has proven he’s capable of taking on a number of diverse roles. He was almost unrecognisable as fast talking Jewish lawyer Michael H. Sussman in one of our favourite shows of 2015, Show Me a Hero, and we were surprised to see him pop up as Greg’s cool, tattooed History teacher in bittersweet teen comedy Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. He was also absolutely hilarious as Brad, the iron-pumping ‘Quaalude King’ in The Wolf of Wall Street. Is there anything this guy can’t do? We can’t wait to see what other characters he has lined up to join his repertoire.
3. He’s supportive of young talent
Our hearts melted when we learned Jon Bernthal and youngster Tom Holland teamed up to film their Marvel audition tapes together. Having met on the set of Irish period drama Pilgrimage (yet another string to add to Bernthal’s bow), the two became friends, and helped one another to audition for the roles of the Punisher and Spider-Man respectively. As we now know, their efforts were successful, as both were cast. Awww 🙂
The story’s made even cuter by the relationship between the Punisher and Spider-Man in Marvel’s Civil War comics, as Punisher is the one who rescues Spider-Man after he’s almost beaten to death by the super villains Tony Stark unleashes to try and bring Peter Parker back to the pro-reg side of things. We seriously hope this comes into play in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War movie…
4. He’s the sweetest family man
Jonny and his beautiful wife Erin Angle have three adorable kids, which is something the actor says helped him get into character for Frank Castle; a man hell-bent on avenging the murder of his wife, son and daughter.
“There’s no way I could even begin to tackle this role if I wasn’t a father and a husband in my mind”, he said at the Daredevil premiere last week. “My family means everything to me”, he continued. “You realise what it’s like to love somebody more than yourself and be willing to give up your life for them in a heartbeat”.
And, I mean, will you just look at this Tweet? Can’t deal.
5. He takes his roles seriously
This is the man who, while shooting for David Ayer’s Fury, didn’t see his family until it wrapped – including his newborn baby. And as we know, family is huge for Bernthal. He also went all out to prepare for his role as the Punisher. “Here’s a guy who’s had the thing he cares about most in the world taken from him forever. It’s important not to spend your nights with creature comforts of a hotel and going to restaurants and partying”, he said in a recent interview.
“I go dark for a couple of months while I find the character”, he told Empire of his process, which for Daredevil saw him strapping on a backpack filled with weights and walking the deserted streets of Brooklyn, trying to ‘find Frank Castle’. “I’m giving it everything I have. This character and his philosophies and the ideas behind it are tremendously important to me”, said Bernthal. And believe us, it really comes through in the show.
6. He’s a great friend
In particular, he loves Norman Reedus.
“Look, outside of my family, there’s nobody in this world I love like Norman Reedus. I love that dude with everything I got”, Bernthal said about his Walking Dead co-star.
When they’re not sharing the screen, the adorable duo go out for meals together, do impressions of one another, kiss and hug one another while wearing matching hats… Sigh. I believe this is what they mean by the term ‘squad goals’.
7. He loves dogs
We were well and truly moved by Frank Castle’s chemistry with the gorgeous Staffordshire Bull Terrier (played by Bernthal’s own dog) in this season of Marvel’s Daredevil. He takes the dog under his wing, and the love between the two is just so beautiful. When tortured himself, Castle gives up nothing to the enemy. But when the dog is threatened, he spills the beans to save its life.
Here’s real life Bernthal with his beloved pooches Boss and Venice, who regularly appear alongside him in photoshoots, talking about responsible pit bull ownership for the Majority Project. What a man.
Catch Jon Bernthal as the Punisher/Frank Castle in season 2 of Marvel’s Daredevil, streaming on Netflix now.