Photo credit: Beau Grealy/Esquire(LOS ANGELES) — While the real Jon Bernthal is much more soft-spoken than The Punisher, the Marvel comic book hero he plays on Neflix, they share a dangerous side.
In an upcoming feature story in Esquire, the actor and devoted dad opens up about his rough past. He spent time in jail as a teen, and once threatened to “beat” director Oliver Stone’s “a**.”
The Punisher is an elite Force Recon Marine, who becomes a vigilante when his family is murdered. First introduced in 1974 in an issue of The Amazing Spider-Man, Punisher became a fan favorite, and a favorite of real-life U.S. soldiers. His skull logo adorns the gear of many real-life military heroes — including, the late “American Sniper” himself, Chris Kyle.
Says Bernthal, who first Punisher in the second season of Netflix’s Daredevil before starring in last November’s solo outing: “I feel honored to play a guy who people putting their life on the line identify with.”
While he admits he’s “difficult” on set, Bernthal explains, “It’s not about my trailer or the food; it’s always about making the role make sense.”
One such disagreement apparently happened on the set of World Trade Center, when the film’s director, Oliver Stone, called out Bernthal with a finger point. Bernthal recalls his reaction.
“Let me tell you something, dude,” he said. “You might be Oliver Stone, but I will beat your f****** a** right here on this set. In front of everybody here, I will beat your a**…”
The director, now a friend, “retreated,” says Bernthal.
However, Bernthal isn’t a tough guy at heart. The father of three says of his two young sons, Henry and Billy, “I want them to see kindness as masculine, not a sign of weakness.”
The Esquire feature hits newsstands January 9.
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