The Punisher’s Jon Bernthal Comments on Show’s Gun Violence

Marvel's The Punisher

The Punisher season one had been pushed back from its original airdate due to the Las Vegas shooting. Why? Because when you have The Punisher, there is a certain amount of violence that you expect. Especially for the gun-toting Marine Frank Castle. In a political climate even more tumultuous than when the first season premiered, the second season will be hitting Netflix in a couple of weeks and the main actor Jon Bernthal sat down to share his thoughts about the gun violence in today’s society.

“I can’t speak for the show because I don’t write it,” Bernthal said to Collider. “I think that you’d have to talk to Steve and to Marvel about that. For me, it’s a few things. Number one, art, when it’s done right, holds a mirror to society and makes you question it. And question yourself. You shouldn’t attempt to spoon feed answers or to preach. [Art should] make you look at yourself and hopefully present different sides to an argument and help make society or help make the viewer ask questions about the world in which they live in. I tend to try and avoid art that is preachy and tells you how to think.”

It may be easy for those going into The Punisher with opinions already made to think that just because the main character and others carry guns around that the series is taking sides, but Bernthal wanted to make clear that that is not the case for the Netflix series.

“As far as I’m concerned, I think for so long now we’ve really gone through this thing in this country where a certain element has a stronghold and a monopoly on what it means to be strong or tough or masculine or patriotic, for that matter. For me, the great joy that I have in playing this role and other roles is where I got to pick soldiers and combat vets, and the guys that share their stories with me. To me, the mark of somebody who is strong, patriotic, tough is someone who has an open mind. Someone who is open to listening to all sides and not be steadfast and not be completely clinging to their own sense of, ‘This is what is right and this is what is wrong.’

“For me, what’s American to be open to all sides. Me, I’m just repulsed by the…you know how polarized it is. How it seems like both folks on both sides of that issue seem to know so little about the other side. I’m pretty much, for me personally because It’s the only thing I can speak to, I’m sickened by fundamentalism of any sort. You got to keep an open mind.”

I believe especially with all the violence in the past year or so alone that a series like The Punisher will certainly make people talk, but just as they hoped for in the first season, perhaps this can open up a dialogue that desperately needs to happen. Either way, The Punisher season two drops on Netflix on January 18th!

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