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‘Punisher’ Star Jon Bernthal on Season 2, Broken Bones and Frank’s ‘Self-Loathing’

The Punisher” returns for its second season today, opening on a Frank Castle in search of a more peaceful life.

“He’s dipping his toes in the potential waters of peace,” series star Jon Bernthal told Variety. “He’s flirting with human interaction and human connection. I think it goes awry pretty quickly. There’s a kernel of truth that comes right out of the comics, that Frank Castle ultimately blames himself for everything that’s gone wrong. He constantly questions who the true Frank Castle is and has he brought on all this death and destruction in his life.”

In this season, Castle is on the road living day-to-day when he spies a group of villains going after a teenage girl (Giorgia Whigham). Given that he is The Punisher, he intervenes, and quickly sets off an explosive set of circumstances that drive the season.

“He decides to protect this young woman and he goes down the road with her but it’s really not personal,” Bernthal said. “He makes a snap judgment and that leads to many more things. I think what he’s finding is you have to ask yourself, ‘What do you do when the mission is over?’ With Frank, I think he comes to the conclusion that if he does have a purpose it’s to be the vigilante, the guy from the comics, the guy with the skull on his chest killing the people that need to be killed.”

“I think he really sees his daughter in her,” he continued. “With that sense of self-loathing and all the violence that seems to come his way, he comes to the conclusion that he really needs to get her out of this life in order to keep her safe.”

And given that the first season of the show was known for its insane action sequences, Bernthal said he and the show’s stunt coordinator took it even further this year.

“This year the stunt coordinator was Eric Linden,” he said. “Eric was my stunt double on ‘Daredevil.’ We really created this physical iteration of Punisher together. Eric’s my brother and one of my best friends. I’m really excited for him to coordinate. I think are really going to dig the action. I think we took it up a notch. We went full bore this year. I broke my hand, I tore ligaments, I dislocated my hand, got knocked unconscious. It was a full out season. But I do think we were able to ramp things up and people will be pleased with it.”

Bernthal also addressed the cancellation of the other Marvel-Netflix shows, with “Iron Fist,” “Luke Cage,” and “Daredevil” all having been canceled within the past few months.

“I know the reality of the situation and I’m at peace with it. I really only worry about the things I can control. When I’m playing the character and I’m doing the job and it’s right there in front of me, I do whatever I can to make it as good as I can. But in this business there’s so much we can’t control. Whatever is happening with these shows, these decisions are being made in rooms I’m not invited into and I’m OK with that.”

“The Punisher” Season 2 is currently streaming on Netflix

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