Q:Congratulations on getting a role on the Punisher! That is awesome-sauce.
JM: Thank you so much.
Q:The character you’re playing, Curtis Hoyle, he has a longstanding history in the comic books.
JM: Yes he does, he’s definitely an established character in the comic books, which made it easy for my research.
Q:So you did do some research into the comics?
JM: Yes I did do some research into the comics, and I would say that even though they deviate a little bit from what’s in the comics, its in a very creative way. The show-runners seem to have taken a liking to this version of the character.
Q:Can you expound a bit upon how they deviated from the char as it is in the comics, or is that a spoiler?
JM: One major fact is that y’know, the character in the comics is white, and I’m black, so that’s one deviation.
Q:Hopefully in this day and age, that won’t matter!
JM: I don’t think it will matter either. Curtis Hoyle and Frank Castle are really good buddies, they’re both like ex-special forces, and they’re both trying to make their way in normal society. In terms of deviation I can’t reveal more because that really would be spoilers – we really want you guys to watch it and enjoy it.
Q: We are all very much anticipating watching the show! So without spoilers, what can fans of the Punisher expect to see from Curtis Hoyle in the first season? Do you know if Curtis is going to be in the second season, or is that also a spoiler? ‘Cuz you know Punisher is going to have to have a second season.
JM: Well, I sure hope so! It’d be great for the show to continue. I think the show is good and it’s gonna be here real soon. But what you would see first from Curtis, you’d see a guy who is trying to help others. I would say the show is tackling a major task, addressing how we as soldiers re-acclimate back into society. And dealing with PTSD, trying to help other soldiers do that, and just become functional citizens in society. That’s what you’ll be seeing from Curtis.
Q:That actually leads into my next question – you play a veteran support group leader in some pretty heavy scenes on the show, did you consult any military counselors, therapists, or actual veterans with PTSD in real life to kind of prepare for the role?
JM: Marvel Studios was really generous with helping us do the research, providing us with people I could really speak to. Talking with people who were soldiers, people who suffer from PTSD, and here’s the great thing, the thing you might not know – the people in those scenes are all from the military, one way or another, in real life. Army, Navy, real Military, actual Vets, here on set. All I need to do is ask them. They helped me out a lot, in terms of psychology of the soldier, and trying to understand all forms of PTSD, they really helped me in that capacity. We talk about these issues and we celebrate the Vets, on this show, a lot.
Q:That’s fantastic. Your character Curtis Hoyle could be interpreted as kind of Jiminy Cricket to Frank Castle, as it were. But in other scenes you’re kind of a devils advocate, how interesting was it for you to take on that kind of dual role?
JM: It’s good. As an actor, that’s the kind of stuff you want to do. You want to play complex characters, characters that have conflict, even within themselves, any kind of conflict is so important, because that’s what people bite into. That’s when you can really tell, the writer and the creators did some extra work. And so, working with Jon (Bernthal), it was a tremendous pleasure. I always tell him, he has great leadership qualities and he doesn’t even know it. (laughs) He’s not even aware of it, but he does. Our characters’ relationship is very dynamic. He’s like one of Curtis’ great friends, and we also butt heads. Which good friends do, good friends butt heads and have good times, laugh and do all that stuff together too.
Q:You butt heads, you make up, you maybe go out and have a beer and the occasional fistfight, y’know, what friends do!
JM: Absolutely. So look for some of that conflict in there, with Curtis and Frank, there should be enough of that.
Q: So Curtis Hoyle was in the service with Frank Castle, and they met during the Vietnam war. At least, in the comic books.
JM: We’re not that old, so that’s another one of the deviations from the comic books.
Q: Makes sense. It would actually take some mad skills on Curtis’ part to be able to impress The Punisher and y’know, make friends with him, especially around and during whatever war they happened to meet at. Do we actually get to see Curtis use any kind of physical fighting skills, for the first season, does he kick some ass somewhere? Does he have to?
JM: I’m not ruining anything for you. That is a spoiler question! He is a soldier, I will say that, that’s a big part of it.
Q:Is there anything you would like to allude to about the show, without giving actual spoilers? Maybe a teaser?
JM: I will say this – without spoiling anything, in terms of characters of The Punisher, I think more people have died in the first season of The Punisher than pretty much all the other shows combined. Cuz he’s The Punisher, so he has to do a lot of punishing.
Q:We all eagerly look forward to the show coming out on Netflix November 17, 2017!
JM: Not soon enough, I tell you! It’s two days before my birthday actually.
Q:Well, happy early birthday! You will definitely have to do something rocking to celebrate both your birthday and The Punisher coming out.
JM: I surely appreciate it, and will find something rocking to do.
Q: We all sincerely hope your character makes it to the highly anticipated second season of the Punisher. Any good “no sh*t there I was” stories from on the set of The Punisher?
JM: Plenty of those, but those moments are all full of spoilers! If I give you one thing, I’m telling you, it’s gonna ruin part of the experience for you! I really want people to get the full experience and the best value, from The Punisher.
Thank you so much for speaking with me!