Netflix's The Punisher has been a smash hit for the streaming service and they, along with Marvel, quickly confirmed that there will be a Season 2 for those fans who can't get enough Frank Castle in their lives. The Punisher has been an iconic comic book character for decades and his instantly recognizable logo and look have been a big reason for the popularity. But when something becomes so popular, the symbols used for the character and the ideologies attributed to the characters take on new meanings to those who adopt them into their own belief systems. For instance, the infamous alt-right movement was seen wearing the fanged-skull Punisher symbol as a patch on their shoulders at last year's rally in Charlottesville, which Punisher star Jon Bernthal does not appreciate one bit.
In a new interview with Esquire, Jon Bernthal opened up about his life and the recent success of The Punisher. When the interviewer asked him what he thought about members of the military using the famous Punisher logo on their helmets as well as the alt-right adopting the symbol for their cause, Bernthal had a mixed reaction. He first praised members of the military, stating that he feels "honored" that they can relate to the character, but the actor had a much different stance for the alt-right movement. Bernthal simply said, "F$ck them," when referencing the hate group.
Jon Bernthal also disclosed his personal battle with anger and violence, which he said almost led him to kill a man. In 2009, Bernthal said he was walking his pit bull, Boss, in Venice Beach when a drunk man began following him home. Bernthal told the man to leave him alone and when he didn't, the actor knocked him out. Jon Bernthal says that he landed in jail where the police told him that if the man didn't wake up, he'd be going to jail for the rest of his life. It was a stern wakeup call for Bernthal who vowed to keep his demons at bay after that particular incident.
The Punisher star also opened up about his feelings on gun control, which is a hot button topic in the United States right now. Jon Bernthal is a gun owner and defends his right to own a gun to protect his family and also clearly states that he is trained on how to use them. However, the actor believes that a dialogue must be started to make guns harder to get, especially for the mentally unstable. He explains.
"I have a gun in my house to keep my family safe. I'm trained in that gun's use. I know how to keep it away from my kids, and I know how to use it if I need to. Should there be a way that a guy with mental issues like the a$$hole in Texas can't get guns? Absolutely. We have to have a dialogue, and that's not happening."
Some of Jon Bernthal's fans may not agree with some of his stances on gun control and denouncing the racist alt-right movement, but he's being honest and clearly not afraid to lose some viewers who he'd rather not watch The Punisher and get the ideology of the character misconstrued anyway. The Punisher is a brutally violent character, but that doesn't mean that Jon Bernthal has to be as well. You can read more of the lengthy and informative interview with Jon Bernthal courtesy of Esquire.