About Features Reviews Community Screenings Archives Home
April 2004
The Punisher: An Interview with Thomas Jane

By Alberlynne “Abby” Harris

The Punisher: An Interview with John Travolta

Starring as Frank Castle, squaring off against John Travolta, and avenging the death of his family, Tom Jane sure has his hands full. Blackfilm.com sat with Tom to discuss the intricacies involved in bringing a comic book character like "The Punisher" to the action movie screen.

Was it fun?

TJ: It was anything but fun. It was a lot of hard work. They trained me for like six months. Now I can actually eat real food. It's still exciting.

What about a sequel?

TJ: Oh gosh, I'm hoping for CGI. We worked seven days a week on this thing. It was also shot in a very short period of time so we only took a maximum of two takes for each scene. We had to get it right.

Were you a fan of The Punisher comic book?

TJ: I was definitely interested in comic books, but I did not get into superhero books when I was a kid.

Did you have any injuries during the shoot?

TJ: Well, I took some cuts and bruises on this one. I just approached it like I would a professional sport, just knowing that this is what happens when you do this kind of thing. I was clear at the beginning that I wanted to do a movie that would allow me to do things without effects so we can make it real. I did not want it CGI heavy or wires everywhere. I also did not need a bunch of Kung-Fu experts or stuff like that.

What was it like working with renowned screenwriter-turn-director, Jonathan Hensleigh?

TJ: Well there is always a sense of what is going to happen when you go into a film. With a first-time director, there is no record or history there. But the guy has vision and so with everyone on board we made it work.

How does it feel to bring a comic book from its pages to the real world stage?

TJ: It was exciting to have cartoons in the movies. But today, it seems like they have taken things too far. They really had fun in the 70's When you go back to look at that humor, you can see what kind of movie you can make. What's interesting is that the success of one genre can open the doors for another genre to come about. Take for instance, Road to Perdition. That illustration is very dark., but it gives an opportunity to swing on the vine, in a new direction. With [The Punisher] you want to see it branch out into an action film, beyond the comic book.

What was your vision in creating the character of Frank Castle?

TJ: With a Frank castle film, you are going to get one kind of film. I was not sure of the opportunities we could make from the comic book, keeping it rated R. I decided to take this on his character to explore that. The comic book is actually a very dark comic.

Will there be a sequel?

TJ: Well, I'd like to see at least one more. I'd hate to see it degenerate. That's always the danger when you try to reprise projects like this. They had a good run with the [James] Bond films. You don't want something that is going to get watered down right away.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy