The stereotype of the tough guy is very well known, whether he is an action hero or a bully, he appears frequently in Hollywood, in movies and on television. When we think of tough guys, we also tend to associate them with what it means to be “man,” as it has the masculine qualities that our culture has long celebrated. One of the actors who is usually cast in these roles is Jon Bernthal, who will be remembered for his tough characters on The Walking Dead – 92%, The Punisher – 62% or El Contador – 51%, among others.
You may also like: Scientific magazine criticizes Star Wars for its toxic masculinity, sexism and capacitism
Bernthal recently had the opportunity to play another badass in The Many Saints of Newark – 80%, a prequel film to The Sopranos, the successful HBO series that marked a before and after in television history. In the film, the actor plays the young version of Johnny Soprano, the father of the protagonist Tony Soprano.
Defining what toxic masculinity is can hurt feelings, as many men believe that putting those two words together, masculinity and toxic, is an offense against men in general. However, it is necessary to clarify what the term refers to, and it is to the negative attitudes that have been associated throughout history with masculinity, such as homophobia, sexism and violence.
A tough guy usually represents these characteristics (though not necessarily), and Bernthal is aware that we live in an age where his characters are analyzed in light of new masculinities. In a video of First We Feast The actor was questioned about his relationship with the “tough guys” he plays and gave this extensive answer where he addressed the issue of masculinity:
Do not miss: Jon Bernthal talks about his possible return as Frank Castle / Punisher
I think there is one thing going on right now […] there is a kind of rigidity and unshakable inability to get away from your opinion, which is confused with a kind of patriotism, strength and masculinity […] For me, that’s the least American thing in the world. And I think when it comes to being a man, I think you have to be able to talk to everyone, you have to have enough self-confidence to make a mistake, you can learn from everyone, you have to reach out and have a dialogue with people who fully think. different to you. […] It’s not about imposing my will on you, this type of masculinity has been bastardized in this way that again it’s about bombast and looking rude and talking, but you know, having empathy for people, having compassion for people, helping to people, to be the type of person who will be there for someone who needs it, that’s what I think being a man is all about.
One of Bernthal’s most controversial roles was that of Frank Castle / Punisher, as the character is an avenger who shows no mercy for his enemies, ruthlessly massacres them with his skills acquired in war. When it premiered in 2017, the series The punisher It drew criticism because some saw it as an apology for the sale of firearms, a highly controversial issue in the United States.
Despite the controversy, since his appearance in the second season of Daredevil – 76%, Bernthal was rated the best version of the Punisher to date; in the cinema he was preceded by Dolph Lundgren, Thomas Jane and Ray Stevenson. We do not know if it will appear again in any future production of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, because as far as we know the Netflix series are not canonical in the franchise, and there are only rumors that Marvel Studios is planning to do a reboot of Daredevil, Jessica Jones – 69% and The punisher with the same actors (which would be extremely rare if true).
Don’t leave without reading: The Lord of the Rings is described as an “antidote” to toxic masculinity