The Punisher's Jon Bernthal Says Masculinity Requires Empathy

Beloved Netflix star Joh Bernthal has a fresh take on masculinity after playing some aggressive characters. The Punisher actor sat down on Hot Ones with Sean Evans to talk about his role as Johnny Soprano in The Many Saints of Newark. By playing Tony Soprano's father, his performance helps mold someone that a lot of TV viewers believe is the high watermark for masculinity in the golden age of TV. Bernthal explains that true masculinity stems from empathy and compassion. That's a far cry from some of these roles he's played in the past. The actor is very thoughtful in considering how men function in society as of late. In teaching his sons about the world. he's had to examine how they move through society as men and what lessons he'd like to impart to the boys. Check out what he had to say about the idea of masculinity down below:

"I just think that there's this thing that's going on right now -- it's everywhere, it's in our politics, it's in our entertainment, it's in our media -- where, sort of, the rigidity and unbending, sort of, just inability to move off of your opinion," Bernthal began. "That is being confused with, sort of, patriotism and strength and masculinity, to say 'it's my way or the highway' -- where I think that, for me, that's the most un-American thing in the world."

"As far as being a man, I think you need to be able to talk to anybody," he added. "You need to be confident enough in yourself that you know that you can make a mistake, that you can learn from everyone, that you should approach and engage in dialogue with people that think completely differently than you. The people that I really respect and admire in my life all have that. I think people who actually walk the walk, that don't just talk about it, they all kind of live by that code -- that you're constantly trying to get better, you're constantly trying to grow. It's not about implementing my will on you."

"I feel like it's sort of been bastardized in this way that, again, it's about the bombast and it's about looking tough. But, you know, having empathy for people, having compassion for people, helping people, wanting to be the kind of person that will be there for someone in need -- that's what I think being a dad's about, being a man's about. And I certainly... that's how I'm trying to raise my boys, to have an open heart towards everyone," Bernthal concluded.

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