IGN Exclusive: Frank Castle Speaks!

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Nov 17, 2005
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Exclusive: Frank Castle Speaks
IGN talks to actor Ray Stevenson about playing The Punisher in Warzone.
by IGN Staff
February 27, 2008 - IGN recently spoke with Ray Stevenson... No, not the country singer that sang all those crazy songs in the '80s... that's Ray Stevens! This is Ray Stevenson, the guy who plays comic book anti-hero The Punisher/Frank Castle in the new movie.

We asked Ray about his experience working on Punisher: War Zone, at which point he dropped to the floor and did 50 push-ups while holding a semi-automatic rifle up to our head. We promised never to make fun of his name again. This is the conversation that followed...


IGN: You're about to embark on what I'm sure many people hope will be the first of several great Punisher films. What was it like tackling the character?

RAY STEVENSON: It was fantastic. It was beyond any of my expectations. I didn't watch the Thomas Jane film beforehand. We were taking a completely new slant. We weren't doing numbers. It's not Punisher 3; it's Punisher: War Zone. We're going exclusively for the MAX series with Garth Ennis writing and Tim Bradstreet doing the cover illustrations. That was the look – the New York, night-time predator, with all the incredible, dark psyche that goes along with him. Certainly not a superhero, but an anti-hero.

IGN: And again – a strong character with legitimate depth.

STEVENSON: This guy is really on a trajectory. Things have happened in his life; he's a vigilante. Some people are beyond redemption and it doesn't matter how many criminal dollars you have to buy the very best criminal lawyers – if you're beyond redemption, that's it. One of the lines from Garth: "If you work for the devil, you better be prepared to die for him." When you really get behind and underneath that, it's a very dark place to be. It's a very human feeling, but to actually systematically go about it as a mission – as a job of work – you know that you're damned. Every choice you make only damns you deeper. There's no light at the end of your tunnel, but you're doing it so that other people can live in that light.

- Lionsgate

IGN: Would you be ready to don the trench-coat and t-shirt again?

STEVENSON: Hopefully, we'll get a franchise. I'd be delighted to play Frank again. We've opened him with this one; we've opened up wounds. It was a very interesting journey as an actor because it really does raise some quite severe moral and social issues. The state can still kill people, but we can't license individuals to kill people. We've advanced, as it were. Yet if somebody harmed my son, I would absolutely stop their seed. I don't think I'd be big enough, or magnanimous enough, to allow due process. And if they got off, how would I feel then? But where is the advancement if we constantly revert back to eye-for-an-eye, to the ancient law of retribution? Are you happy that he's out there, knowing full well that you'll never be a target? But what if you transgress? Where does he draw his line? And if we entertain, and at the same time hold up a mirror, then we're in…

IGN: Jigsaw is obviously the villain with this film, but what other Punisher villains would you like to go up against?

STEVENSON: There's obviously Barracuda. He's indestructible. It's that old paradox – the unstoppable force meets the immovable object. But I think that the most interesting thing for me is that Frank is constantly coming up against Frank. He's always his own greatest adversary. Hopefully, it doesn't sound too patsy. It's not meant to be diversionary. Jigsaw has been an amazing adversary, but in the long scheme of things, Frank still has a core of what it really means to be human. It's just a question of what constitutes a soul – of what is good and what is bad – and so his greatest adversary of all time with always be himself.

IGN: So what's next?

STEVENSON: I'm just about to go up to New Orleans to start a movie called Cirque du Freak with Selma Hayek, John C. Riley and Ken Wantanabe. I'm playing the lead vampire – the lead bad-guy…This will be great fun. Here I get a chance to play a bourgeoning Stalin or Hitler. It should be such a romp. It's creature, it's carnival, it's traveling street show. It should be a hell of a ride!
I love the fact he did his homework on garth.

I also think it's cool not only that he wants to play frank again but, that he wants to face BARRICUDA if there's a sequel.
Great little interview, really nice find AD.

Sounds like Stevenson has a good head on his shoulders, like how he didn't give monosyllabic answers, but instead went in-depth with each one he was given.
Too bad it was only a few questions!

I really hope this movie turns out good, this is our last chance in a while to get a great Punisher film.

This guy OWNS TJ. :woot:
I'm glad most of you appreciate it. :)

I'm surprised there isn't more excitement over this tidbit.
Guess it didn't offer anything new, but it was a lot more comforting then West saying it could either be great, or be crap.

Guess it'll stay calm in here until there is something really huge.

Anyways, thanks again for so diligently tracking things like this down. You seem to find more things then anyone else I've noticed.
Man, if they put Baraccuda in the next one I would fill the cup. That would be the best thing ever.
Who could they cast as Barracuda?
Hmm, sounds like a thread for the sequels forum!
Great interview. Ray really seems to be doing his work.
Good interview, and he's going to work with Salma Hayek (lucky guy!).:applaud
Great interview. Ray really seems to be doing his work.

either that or his publicist does the research and gives him the "buzz" words that people want to hear.
Stevenson has sold me now. He GETS Frank. I thought Thomas Jane was the only one who GOT Frank but Stevenson totally GETS him. Ray IS Frank Castle Reborn.
Not good enough! I want @#$'ing new pics!!!!! Jigsaw! @$'ing Newman!!!!
Great interview. I can't wait for this movie!
Yeah so maybe every actor should come out and trash the film they're in because they should worry about others thinking they're only promoting their film and not being sincere. LOL
Note to self: talk sh** about your own movie once you get famous in order to satisfy angry and dissapointed fanboys.
Note to self: talk sh** about your own movie once you get famous in order to satisfy angry and dissapointed fanboys.

Don't you love fanboys? They're more fickle than your usual mainstream haters.
Note to self: Go to Punisher forums talk trash because It's so cool to be a troll..:applaud
....so is this taking place in NY? :huh:
hell yeah it's taking place in ny.

the interview sounds good, ray has frank down.

but we knew that... now where's that damn teaser poster?!
Dude this is getting ridiculous! Can we please have more than 5 @#$ing pics of ray stevenson?!what the hell is he delay? they're in post right?

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