Why Jon Bernthal almost turned down the ‘Punisher’ role

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Screen grab from Instagram/@thepunisher

In case you still haven’t seen it, the series based on Marvel’s perhaps most notorious antihero, “The Punisher,” has amazed fans since its release on Netflix a few weeks back.

Brought to life in an amazing performance by “The Walking Dead” alumnus Jon Bernthal, the 13-episode show features the back story of the ex-marine turned ruthless stone-cold killer, Frank Castle.

Bernthal’s pinpoint portrayal has certainly won him over some new fans but in reality, the 41-year-old didn’t really want to assume the role.

Speaking to Variety, Bernthal revealed why he was initially hesitant to play the comic-book figure.

“Fully candid, being part of a superhero franchise was not something that I really had an ambition towards; it wasn’t really on my radar,” he revealed.

“A lot of the people that I really admire, actors that I really look up to have avoided that whole thing.”

Prior to becoming Marvel’s latest revelation, Bernthal assumed somewhat realistic tough-guy personas on blockbusters like “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Fury” and “Sicario.”

Despite his initial reluctance, Bernthal eventually figured that “The Punisher” was not the average superhero film.

“He didn’t have any super (powers); he didn’t have a mask. He was a grieving father and husband who was reeling from this unbelievably traumatic event,” he said.

“There was something about that scared the you-know-what out of me and left me intrigued I always try to gravitate to stuff that scares me. I love my wife and my kids more than myself. I’d willingly give my life for them.“

He added: “Until you understand love like that, you can understand what it would be like to lose it. Just that kernel of an idea, it scared me.”

His decision was certainly worth it, as fans are clamoring for a second season of the standalone “Punisher” series.

The full season is still available, exclusively on Netflix. /ra

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