Despite early indications that Jon Bernthal’s take on Frank Castle/The Punisher in Daredevil wouldn’t get a spin-off series, the Walking Dead alum’s phenomenal performance won over audiences and critics alike. So much so that, a little over a month after Daredevil‘s second season premiere in March, Marvel and Netflix announced Castle would get his own gritty, bloody show on the streaming service. The spin-off will be led by Hannibal writer Steve Lightfoot, and despite everything going on with Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist leading to The Defenders miniseries, Bernthal’s new gig will stand out on its own.
Which is fantastic news considering the current political climate revolving around guns, gun violence and gun control in the United States. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, recent events like the Orlando night club shooting have put both policymakers and laypeople front and center on all things guns. The Punisher likes guns — a fact not lost on either Bernthal or Deadline — so when the latter interviewed the actor about his Marvel spin-off, they asked the obvious topical question:
What are your thoughts on playing a character who uses guns so much, in light of the current debate on gun control?
Bernthal could have brushed off the question by claiming he wasn’t an expert on the matter, or a myriad of other likely reasons. Instead, he acknowledged Castle’s penchant for modern weaponry while rightfully identifying his place (as an actor) in the whole mess:
I think that one of the most notable things that art can do is hold a mirror to society and make you ask questions. I think that if you’re asking a question, then we’re doing our job. I think that’s the point. I think what’s really interesting about Daredevil Season 2, and as far as the issue with guns, and guns in America, and guns in the streets, and guns for justice, and all these things — what’s interesting about that is I think that wherever you fall on the gun control debate, I think you can make arguments based on our show that would support either side. I like that. I think that’s what we should do. I think that our job is not to give you an answer. I don’t think our job is to tell you which way to think. I think our job is to hold a mirror out to reflect society and show both sides of it.
Seeing as how the 39-year-old actor is paraphrasing William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, his instance on art’s duties regarding something like the current gun control debate in America is apt. That, and it probably satisfied the notorious press watchdogs at Marvel.