Jon Bernthal Trashes Actors Like Jared Leto For One Controversial Choice

By Nathan Kamal | 2 weeks ago

jon bernthal

Jon Bernthal has made a career out of playing very tough, very intimidating people. So when he talks some smack about particular choices that other people in his profession make, it adds a certain level of menace that is probably not all that intentional. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter about his upcoming role portraying a real-life police sergeant in We Own This City, Bernthal was asked for his thoughts about the “Method” style of acting popularized by performers like Daniel Day-Lewis, Jared Leto, and Adrien Brody. His thoughts were not positive. Specifically, Jon Bernthal mentioned that he did not believe the popular notion of Method acting (which is to remain deeply in character at all times, despite how inconvenient or bothersome it may be for the people around you) was what was intended by Method creator and legendary theater practitioner Konstantin Stanislavski. Here is what Jon Bernthal had to say on the subject:

Having studied in Moscow at the Moscow Art Theater, I guarantee you that making everybody call you by your character name and not showering for eight months was not what Stanislavski had in mind with the Method.

It is difficult to argue with Jon Bernthal on this matter. While “Method” acting has often been held in awe by critics and actors as a kind of nearly supernatural boost to the realism of a role, the actual methodology and intentions of the style have been very watered down over the decades. The sometimes controversial actions of practitioners have also been coming into question in recent years. While Daniel Day-Lewis may have won his first Academy Award for My Left Foot, portraying British artist Christie Brown by remaining immobile for hours at a time at risk to his own body, it also caused additional work, stress, and fatigue for many less famous people that also worked on the film. And while exactly how Jared Leto got into character to play DC Comics villain the Joker for 2016’s Suicide Squad has come into question (Leto was very happy to talk about things like mailing used condoms and rats to his co-stars until the appropriateness of those actions came into question, after which he described them as jokes that were misinterpreted by the media), no one is of the opinion that it did his performance any favors. It seems that is not the kind of thing Jon Bernthal is down for, in any case. 

Jon Bernthal

Jon Bernthal came to widespread prominence for his role as Shane West in the hit AMC horror series The Walking Dead in its first two seasons. He was highly praised for playing the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of Frank Castle aka The Punisher in Netflix’s Daredevil series, followed by his own headlining series. He has also appeared in a number of high-profile films, including Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, Steve McQueen’s Widows, and The Sopranos feature film prequel The Many Saints of Newark. He is currently playing Detective Wayne Jenkins, a real-life Baltimore police officer who was sentenced to 25 years in prison for various offenses in David Simon’s new series We Own This City. Hopefully, he has not done anything Method-related for that particular role, but it does not sound like that is his style.