Hello, everyone! Jon is featured in next month’s issue of Men’s Health. with a brand new photoshoot. Check out the cover and some outtakes in our gallery!
The sun has almost set on a warm October evening, and I can’t find Jon Bernthal anywhere. I’m walking along a racetrack against an exploding lilac-and-orange sky in the middle of the desert two hours outside Los Angeles. The sound of revving engines is so loud that yelling his name is futile. A few hundred people buzz about, carrying cartons of cigarettes and department-store dinner jackets and porkpie hats and scripts and lights and everything else a summer-tentpole budget can buy to transform our present-day digital hellscape into sweet, simple 1966.
I’ve spent the past week holed up in an underground lair with Bernthal, sort of, watching and rewatching his devastating turn as Frank Castle, aka the Punisher—a combat-veteran action hero whose superpower is his quest for justice fueled by the anguish and rage he feels after his wife and children are slaughtered in front of him—so I like my chances of being able to spot him in this traveling circus. I’m confident I’ve memorized each tiny jut of wayward bone in his nose, which has been broken 14 times. When I don’t find Bernthal in his trailer, I walk toward the starting line and look for the biggest, most tatted-up loner. So I’m shocked when a reasonably sized dude with a side part and an A-list smile waves me down; sticks his hand out; says, “Hi, I’m Jon! So happy you made it!”; and begins introducing me to half the crew. Castle is a man of few words and even fewer friends who communicates with his eyes and his fists. The guy who plays him responds to every one of my questions with thoughtful, multiple-paragraph soliloquies and is bros with everyone on the set.
Bernthal is a day from wrapping the three-month shoot of his latest movie, an epic drama about Ford’s push to build a race car that could finally beat the mythic Italian automaker Ferrari at the Le Mans world championship in France. The odds are good that the film—directed by James Mangold (Logan) and also starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale—will boost Bernthal’s profile when it premieres this summer.