While appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live to promote The Punisher's recently released second season, Bernthal opened up about how an injury he acquired on set lead to him injuring a stunt performer nearby. "Two things that I've sworn to myself that I will never do is come on a show like this and talk about how I do my own stunts or how I get injured doing stunts but I'm gonna do both of those things," Bernthal said.
"I like to do all my own stunts," he explained. "I like to do the fighting myself. I think it's important for the audience to see Frank Castle in those moments and I did. I broke my hand pretty bad in the first fight scene of the season this year. I knew exactly when it happened. It was a three day fight scene and it was the first day. I hit somebody and I'm a boxer. I knew immediately it was broken. Me, being the orangutan that I am, I didn't say anything to anyone because I didn't want to get pulled. I wanted to stay in the fight."
As the fight scene's production went on, Bernthal's hand would only get worse as it played a crucial part in the sequence. "So, the very next thing I had to do with a broken hand, was my man Jordan Scott, stunt performer, and I had a knife and he had to bash my hand into a table," Bernthal said. "And I'm the Punisher, man, it can't just be two hits. He's gotta bash the hell out of my hand on the table. So, I go over to the stunt coordinator Eric Linden and I said, 'Is there any way we could switch it to the left hand?' He goes, 'What're you doing, man? Stay on script, the camera's over there! Do it, man up!' So I go, 'Alright!'"
From there, Bernthal's hand went from broken bones to also having torn ligaments -- but the show goes on. "So the next thing I gotta do is I gotta kick this guy's leg out and he falls down and I gotta catch him right in my poor hand," Bernthal said. "I say to him again, 'Hey, man, is there any chance we could just move this to the left hand?' A perfect opportunity to just say, 'Hey, man, my hand is injured!' But I didn't say it and so I say, 'Alright.' Here we go, timber!"
Now, the hand has gone from broken and having torn ligaments to also being dislocated entirely. Did Bernthal speak up about it? Nope.
"The very last thing we have to do in the scene, day three, is these guys are shooting at me with automatic weapons and I throw a barstool at them," Bernthal said. "I go to grab this barstool and I just freeze because I know with this mangled, mess of a hand, I'm not going to be able to throw this barstool." There was no way he was going to be able to launch that barstool at the proper target. "They don't see when I grab it with my left hand, I'm supposed to throw that thing at a mat, but instead I just chuck that thing," Bernthal said. "All the sudden you hear this, 'Ah!' and it had hit that stunt coordinator right in the leg."
As all the best stories end, Bernthal wouldn't have to go into recovery alone: "I had somebody to go to the hospital with!"
The Punisher Season Two is available now on Netflix.