There was a lot to see and do over four days at Emerald City Comic Con. Seattle drew in huge crowds, and a few big names. There was a little something for everyone, and Marvel did not disappoint. With Elden Henson (Foggy Nelson) and Jon Bernthal (Frank Castle/The Punisher) in attendance, fans got a chance to pick their brains about their roles in Daredevil. Both held spotlight panels, and Jon Bernthal submitted himself to a little fifteen minute interview specifically about his fantastic role as Frank Castle in the second season, which dropped on Netflix last month.
For those of you who haven’t had time to binge it yet, what are you waiting for? Stop reading this article and go check out the second season. If you’re like me and plowed through it in a weekend, keep reading.
We were able to attend Elden Henson’s spotlight panel, and he certainly gave some great insight into the show. Most of all, he proved to fans what most of us probably already knew about Marvel: they run a pretty tight ship.
Question after question about the character of Foggy Nelson was offered, and time and time again Elden admitted that they were questions better answered by the writers. See, while a number of shows go to great lengths to incorporate actors into character production, Marvel does its own thing.
The writers have such a solid grasp on the characters that by the time it comes to filming episodes, there isn’t a lot that the actors really have to do except to act. Foggy Nelson is a better representative of his writers than he is of Elden, but let’s not downplay the importance of what Mr. Henson brings to the role.
One of the things I noticed was fan after fan admitting how much his portrayal of such a beloved character meant to them, and Elden seemed touched by this.
He didn’t just discuss Daredevil, which was actually quite refreshing. Marvel keeps everything on lockdown so even if he had known any juicy tidbits about what future seasons would hold, the Marvel snipers probably would have struck him down. It was a delight to see and hear more about the man behind Foggy Nelson, and to reflect on an amazing career. As Elden said a number of times in the panel, he’s just continually grateful to have a job, and what a job he does!
The other Daredevil event we were able to see was a short interview with Jon Bernthal. It was a bit of a trip, not being terribly familiar with the actor, seeing Frank Castle in a different form. For all that Frank is intimidating, Jon is relatively personable. It is a testament to his acting prowess that he could put away his country charm to become the brutal man behind The Punisher. Of course the interview was succinct and there wasn’t a lot of new information about Daredevil, but he did share his hardest scene.
He talked about the scene where he monologues about his dead daughter. As a parent, Jon said it was one of the hardest scenes to film because he really felt it (and so did the audience). It brought a certain depth to Frank, the first sign that there really was something bubbling below his violent, destructive surface. Jon loves his family dearly, and was able to channel that love into the despair the Punisher experiences.
It definitely tied into something Elden pointed out during his spotlight panel, regarding the humanity of the villains on Daredevil. No one is truly “evil” for the sake of evil. Rather, they have their understandably human motivations that drive them to do the things that they do.
Daredevil season two brought up a lot of questions about the real difference between good and evil, and both Elden Henson and Jon Bernthal touched on that theme in their various Emerald City Comic Con appearances. They’re both off now pursuing other items (Jon has a few movies coming up, and Elden said he’s working on writing) but it will be interesting to see how everything comes back together for season three. We’re looking forward to hearing more as convention appearances continue.