Jon Bernthal Says It's Up to Ghost Recon Breakpoint Players to Decide If He's a Villain

Jon Bernthal’s character in Ghost Recon Breakpoint is certainly the antagonist of the game, but the actor isn’t going to be the one to tell you how you should feel about Cole D. Walker. A former Ghost gone rogue who now leads a faction of characters known as the Wolves, Bernthal’s character is one that’ll be seen from the start to the finish of Breakpoint. It’s up to the players whether they decide that his character is ultimately a villain or lands somewhere in the middle of the spectrum.

Bernthal spoke to ComicBook.com over the phone about his role in Breakpoint and the work that went into getting his character right for his first major video game appearance. The actor known for his roles in The Punisher and The Walking Dead among other TV series and movies has spoken about the dynamic between heroes and villains in these types of games before and how it’s not always so black and white, and during our discussion, he said it’s not him who will be judging Walker.

“It’s my job not to judge him or make him a hero or a villain,” Bernthal told ComicBook.com when asked how he hopes Breakpoint players view his character. “It’s my job to find empathy in him and believe in the character’s cause. I think people … I’ll leave it to the audience to judge.”

Bernthal continued to talk about the work that goes into creating a character in general as well as the motivations of Walker and how players may find some sense in the character’s actions even if they ultimately see Walker as a bad guy.

“Characters’ behaviors are only truthful when you find empathy for them,” Bernthal continued. “There’s a lot in what he wants and there’s a lot of his outlook that makes sense. And when you’re dealing with a situation he’s dealing with in Aurora, it’s like it might not be the time and place to have protocol or limits to what you’ll do to complete your mission. He feels like those limits are holding people back and he feels like it’s causing people their lives. He wants to throw all that stuff out the window and do things his own way. That’s what the Wolves are all about. Whether you agree with it or not, what’s more important to me is that you understand it.”

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TV, movies, and now video games are only part of Bernthal’s career though, and he also told ComicBook.com that neither of those first two mediums helped the most with the gaming role. Instead, he gave the credit to his time in live theater.

Ghost Recon: Breakpoint is now available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC platforms.