Jon Bernthal

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Actor & Host of Real Ones Podcast

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Jon Bernthal: Biography at a Glance

  • Jon Bernthal is an actor who rose to prominence on the hit AMC horror series The Walking Dead and received further recognition as "The Punisher" in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • He can be seen on the HBO limited series We Own This City which earned him a spot on the New York Times list of the 10 Best Actors of 2022.
  • A classically trained actor, Bernthal consistently captivates audiences with various roles across a multitude of genres.  
  • He starred in King Richard  alongside Will Smith and Aunjanue Ellis as Serena and Venus Williams’ famed tennis coach Rick Macci.
  • He also played Tony Soprano’s father, ‘Johnny Boy Soprano’ in the Sopranos movie prequel, The Many Saints of Newark, opposite an all-star cast.
  • Other film and television credits include The BearThe Wolf of Wall Street, Sharp Stick, The Unforgivable, Baby Driver, The Accountant, and Ford v Ferrari.
  • Bernthal started a weekly podcast called Real Ones where he talks to some of the most interesting, authentic people living on the front lines of the big issues of our time including soldiers, doctors, police officers, activists, and first responders.



Classically trained actor Jon Bernthal consistently captivates audiences with various roles across a multitude of genres.  

Bernthal can recently be seen in the HBO Series We Own This City as ‘Sgt. Wayne Jenkins’ for which he received rave reviews including Vulture stating “Bernthal infuses Jenkins with distinctly Baltimorean swagger. Speaking with boastful, rounded o’s and walking with a sway that suggests he’s ready to spring into attack mode at any time, you can’t take your eyes off the guy even when his behavior is so abhorrent you want to… It’s a high-voltage, Emmy-worthy performance.”  

Prior, he was seen in Lena Dunham’s feature film Sharp Stick, alongside Kristine Froseth, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Taylour Paige. He also starred in King Richard from director Reinaldo Marcus Green, alongside Will Smith and Aunjanue Ellis. Bernthal played Serena and Venus Williams’ famed tennis coach Rick Macci. The film was nominated for a SAG Award for Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture and also received a Critics Choice nomination for Best Picture. Bernthal appeared in Netflix’s original feature The Unforgivable, opposite Sandra Bullock, which broke into the all-time Top 10 movies watched on Netflix. 

In addition to his on-screen projects, Bernthal recently started a weekly podcast called “Real Ones” in which he gives the microphone to some of the most interesting, authentic people living on the front lines of the big issues of our time including soldiers, doctors, police officers, activists, and first responders. The product is an honest, open dialogue that is informative, funny, and at times heartbreaking. The most recent episode received almost 5 million views.  

Last fall, Bernthal played Tony Soprano’s father, ‘Johnny Boy Soprano’ in the Sopranos movie prequel, The Many Saints of Newark, opposite an all-star cast. Additionally, Bernthal recently starred in the feature film adaptation of Small Engine Repair, which he also co-produced based on the award-winning stage production which he also produced and starred in.

 On the television side, he starred in the BJ Novak anthology series, The Premise, for a compelling episode titled ‘Moment of Silence’ which has garnered critical acclaim for its thought-provoking subject matter and for his standout performance. He also appeared in an episode of Hulu’s The Bear and can be seen in Showtime’s adaptation of American Gigolo.

Bernthal starred in James Mangold’s Ford V. Ferrari as Lee Iacocca, alongside Christian Bale and Matt Damon. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2019 to critical acclaim and received an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. In 2019, he also appeared in The Peanut Butter Falcon alongside Shia LaBeouf and Dakota Johnson. The film received the Narrative Spotlight Award at SXSW Festival in March 2019 and was nominated by the DGA for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in First-Time Feature Film. Bernthal opened multiple films in 2017, including Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver for Sony Pictures, in which he starred alongside Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Jon Hamm, and Jamie Foxx.  

In 2013, he starred in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street, opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, and Margot Robbie. Terence Winter wrote the script about the rise and fall of Wall Streeter Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio). The film was released by Paramount Pictures on Christmas day and was nominated for five Academy Awards – including Best Picture.

Additional film credits include Taylor Sheridan’s Those Who Wish Me Dead, Steve McQueen’s Widows released by 20th Century Fox; Taylor Sheridan’s Wind River; Jamie Dagg’s Sweet Virginia released by IFC Films; Ric Roman Waugh’s Shot Caller released by Saban Films; Gavin O’Connor’s The Accountant released by Warner Brothers; Brendan Muldowney’s Pilgrimage released by RLJ Entertainment; Denis Villeneuve's Sicario released by Lionsgate; David Ayer’s Fury released by Sony; and Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s film adaptation to Me & Earl & the Dying Girl. He also appeared in  Date Night with Steve Carell and Tina Fey; in Roman Polanski's award-winning The Ghost Writer opposite Ewan McGregor; Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian opposite Ben Stiller, Christopher Guest, and Hank Azaria; Grudge Match opposite Robert De Niro; and the independent films The Air I Breathe with Kevin Bacon and Julie Delpy, and Day Zero with Elijah Wood. Bernthal's first major film role was in the Oliver Stone picture World Trade Center with Nicholas Cage and Maria Bello.  

Alongside his father, Bernthal launched a production company called Story Factory with several film and television projects in development. 

Bernthal played the role of "Frank Castle/The Punisher" in the Netflix spin-off series The Punisher based on the Marvel comic. He received rave reviews for his performance in the series, which premiered in November 2017. The show’s second season debuted in January 2019. His performance originated in the second season of Netflix’s Daredevil series, which debuted in 2015. Additionally, Bernthal starred in HBO’s mini-series Show Me A Hero alongside Oscar Isaac, Jim Belushi, and Winona Ryde, which also premiered in 2015.  

Bernthal starred as “Shane Walsh” in AMC's breakout hit television series, The Walking Dead, based on Robert Kirkman's comic book of the same name. Bernthal's extraordinary portrayal as a survivor of the zombie apocalypse marks another remarkable turn in a career defined by acclaimed and varied performances both on stage and on screen. The Walking Dead earned recognition as one of AFI's Ten Best Television Programs of the Year. The series also set new records as the most-watched drama series in basic cable history and has aired internationally in over 120 countries and 33 languages.  

  Bernthal also starred as the lead in Frank Darabont's Mob City for TNT which premiered on December 4th, 2013. The show was set in Los Angeles during the 1940s and '50s. It's a world of glamorous movie stars, powerful studio heads, returning war heroes, a powerful and corrupt police force and an even more dangerous criminal network determined to make L.A. its West Coast base.  

 His other television work includes the Steven Spielberg HBO miniseries, The Pacific, as well as on: Boston Legal, CSI: Miami, Law & Order Special Victims Unit, How I Met Your Mother, and Without A Trace.  His first series in a starring role was The Class, created by David Crane and directed by James Burrows. 

A veteran of more than 30 productions, Bernthal most recently returned to his roots in the Rogue Machine Theatre's production of Small Engine Repair, where he starred as “Terrance Swaino.” Bernthal also produced the play, a dark comedy-drama that charts three working-class friends in Manchester, New Hampshire as they reunite for an evening of drinking, fighting, and reminiscing. Bernthal earned a 2011 Ovation Award nomination for his performance, which had its New York premiere for MCC in the Fall of 2013. Bernthal had previously starred in Neil LaBute's Fat Pig at the Geffen Playhouse. His other theatre credits include Langford Wilson's Fifth of July at New York's Signature Theatre, the off-Broadway production of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, where Bernthal played “Ui,” at the Portland Stage Company; and This is Our Youth, at the Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C.  His love of theatre led him to open his own non-profit theatre company Fovea Floods, in upstate New York.  

During his college years, Bernthal was given the remarkable opportunity to study at the prestigious Moscow Arts Theatre in Russia, renowned for its regimented program and disciplined training. Educated in acting, acrobatics, ballet, and rhythm, the intense training provided Bernthal with a solid foundation in his craft. While studying at MAT, Bernthal was discovered by the director of Harvard University's Institute for Advanced Theatre Training, at the American Repertory Theatre in Moscow. He was invited to study there and graduated with a Master of Fine Arts.  

Bernthal was a professional baseball player both in the U.S. minor leagues and European Professional Baseball Federation. These days, Bernthal prefers boxing, for which he trains six days a week. He teaches boxing to at-risk children, drawing out their discipline and work ethic, and helping them to channel their issues into a sport that teaches them confidence and control. Bernthal also works to retrain pit bulls that have been abused, subsequently placing them in new, loving homes. Bernthal resides in Ojai, California.

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