When actor Jon Bernthal starred in acclaimed zombie-takeover show The Walking Dead as (the now actually dead) Shane Walsh, he was able to bring humanity to a role that could easily be described as a violent psychopath.
In his new movie Snitch as the character Daniel James, Bernthal continues to tread the line between good and bad, something he admitted he enjoyed in a recent interview with theMusic.
“I know I don’t think about playing a good guy or a bad guy,” he says. “But someone who’s going through tough times…well, I dig roles like that. The way Daniel James acts in this situation, well, it’s not what I would do. But I respect the way he makes his decisions, the strength of character behind it. People can make huge mistakes but if they can find a way back from that, it’s something I respect very much and something I really like playing.”
The thrill of a role that has redeeming qualities is as important to an action movie as it having “street cred” according to Bernthal.
“At its core it’s about a father and the lengths he’ll go to for his son. It’s a movie with a real social conscience. It’s based on a true story, which gives us a certain amount of street cred, and it also really goes into a close examination of all of these characters. Getting to play this guy with this chequered past but now wants nothing more to provide a good life for his family, for his son, but has to make some really hard decisions in order to do that, well, that was a real thrill for me.”