Daredevil: “The Punisher’s superpower is his rage”

Jon Bernthal tells us what to expect from the Punisher in Daredevil Season 2

Among the new cast members for Daredevil Season 2, one of the most exciting additions is former The Walking Dead star Jon Bernthal, who will be the fourth person to portray merciless vigilante Frank Castle, aka the Punisher, on the screen, We spoke to him about the role, working with Charlie Cox and entering the Marvel Cinematic Universe…


How does it feel to be playing the Punisher?
It’s an enormous honour to play this character. He is a character that’s very iconic and he’s important to a lot of people. I’m extremely humbled to have the job, and I look at it as a real responsibility to try to get it right.


What does the Punisher bring to Daredevil?
In my opinion, what was so successful about season one was how layered and complex the characters were, and how rich the series was. A lot of Season 1 was about Matt Murdock dealing with this decision to be a hero – but then comes along this guy, the Punisher, who is really not concerned about being a hero. His superpower is his rage. His superpower is that he is not going to quit. He is going to go forward no matter what. He has a different sense of justice.


What are the underlying themes of Season 2 of Daredevil?
For me, the underlying themes are vengeance, pain and loss. And the search to right wrongs. Maybe I’m a selfish actor, but I look at it very much through my own character’s eyes. That’s certainly what Frank is going through when we meet him Daredevil.


Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) will cross paths with Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) in Daredevil Season 2.

How did you prepare for the show’s epic fight scenes?
The level of physical discipline that this show and this role required from me was unlike anything I’ve ever done before. It’s full on and it keeps going. It never stops! The fight team on Daredevil is extraordinary.


How do the fight scenes in Daredevil compare to action scenes you’ve worked on before?
When you work on fight choreography in film, you have months and months to get it ready and rehearse. What’s extraordinary for me with this show is how ambitious it’s been. Everybody knows that you’re racing the clock the entire time in television, but these guys literally – forgive the pun – pull no punches in terms of how ambitious they are and what they’re going after. This team is one of a kind.


Daredevil doesn’t see eye to eye with the Punisher. Will they always be at conflict with each other?
I think what’s key is that these guys are not two superheroes; they are two complex men who have gone through a lot in their lives. I think the writers were courageous enough to let these characters delve into a genuine relationship. Opinions can change. It’s not black and white, and I think that’s what made me a fan of Season 1.


What do you think of Charlie Cox’s portrayal of Daredevil?
Charlie’s work is unbelievably grounded and authentic. His confession scene [from season one] was the first thing that I saw and I was hooked right away. When I saw that scene, I said, “The level of work in this show is unbelievable. If that’s what these guys are going for, I want to play with them.” It was very easy for me to sign up to the show after I’d seen what they did.


Daredevil Season 2 is available to stream on Netflix from 18 March. Get a behind the scenes look at the show and read exclusive interviews with the cast in the new issue of SciFiNow.