An Interview with Jon Bernthal about Mob City

In preparation for the tomorrow’s premiere of TNT series Mob City, EverythingAction had the chance to ask a few questions with actor Jon Bernthal. We are fans of Jon in his former role as Shane Walsh in Frank Darabont’s previous project The Walking Dead.  We asked about his role as Joe Teague, and working with Frank Darabont once again. 

EA:  Hey Jon.

Jon Bernthal:  What’s up man?

EA:  I got a question about your preparation for the role Joe – mainly your inspirations you are acting from. Like did you read various pulp comics, watch various movies or any real life inspiration?

Jon Bernthal:  Yes absolutely, you know, look I will be honest with you I didn’t know much about lot before this started Frank gave me a pretty big, pretty rigorous crash course in it but, you know, the characters that I drew from a, you know, I read a lot of – I read a lot of Chandler, you know, and obviously, you know, Pope Marlo is an inspiration – I think that really came from Frank.

But, you know, I will be honest with you it is a little bit later on but there is a book called White Jazz by – excuse me one second – I’m sorry there is a book called White Jazz that really had a big influence on me that David Klein character, you know, and the same, you know, he wrote LA Confidential and, you know, this is about 10, 15 years later but I really thought that this David Klein character really was this Joe Teague the character 15 years down the road just a little bit saltier. And I felt like, you know, another inspiration strangely enough is I loved Nick Nolte and 48 hours, you know, it is a totally different genre but sort of this just kind of hard boiled detective, you know, I have always been a huge Nolte fan and that one really rang sort of honest with me.

And, you know, a lot of music – but yes, you know, we watched tons and tons of old movies and, you know, I think what is interesting here with what Frank is trying to do is he’s not trying to do kind of a modern take on noir he is trying to sort of do the classic take and, you know, put it on TV and, you know, hopefully hopefully the American TV audience will be down with it, you know, I hope people dig it.

EA:  I’m wondering if there is any stories of cast stay in character like beyond the filming – just walking around and pretending to be their character still.

Jon Bernthal:  You know I will be honest with you, walking around downtown Los Angeles and you’ll – I don’t want to give anything away but things like in all classic noir characters, you know, the lead has to get beat up a lot and I do. And I – Christian Tinsley does the makeup on this on the show and he as one of the best in the business he is right up there with Greg1 and, you know, I had a completely bashed in face and walking around Los Angeles, you know, too and from set. I don’t like to get driven, I like to walk with my dogs from the trailer to set sometimes it’s four or five blocks and walking through downtown Los Angeles with my gun and my badge and completely beaten up. I definitely cause a lot of shock and people are wondering why this policeman is walking around, you know, dripping with blood. But, you know, besides that I think actors processes and stay in character, not staying in character it is kind of, you know, everybody sort of does their own thing and each job is different and, you know, I know what I do but I really can’t speak to what anybody else does.

Mob City premieres Wednesday night at 9 p.m. (ET/PT).

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