It's A 'Crime' Not To Have Oscars For Stunt Performers, Jon Bernthal Argues

Jon Bernthal in The Punisher

With roles in movies like The Accountant and Baby Driver and TV shows like The Walking Dead and The Punisher, actor Jon Bernthal is no stranger to action and the stunt performers that help make it possible. Jon Bernthal has a deep respect for the stunt community and as such, like so many others, he believes they should be honored come awards time. In fact, Jon Bernthal argues that it’s a ‘crime’ not to have Oscars for stunt performers, as he explained:

They’re my brothers, they’re the people I’m closest with on set. I think it’s absolutely a crime there’s not an Academy Award for stunt performers. The stunt community, they’re the ones really putting it on the line. The creativity that comes out of the stunt community is mind-boggling. I think nowadays, it’s one of the key reasons why people go and seek out entertainment, because of how good the stunts are, and there are people actually doing that. I train with those guys every day, I try to go in full-out. It’s kind of the mantra of a stunt guy, ‘Do it hard, do it once.’ Don’t pull a punch, because then you’re gonna have to do it 15 times. ‘Just hit me, and do it once.’ So we try to kind of live by that.

Jon Bernthal’s respect and admiration of stunt performers is plainly evident here, as is his frustration that they do not receive the recognition he believes they deserve. He’s not mincing words either. Jon Bernthal thinks it’s a crime that stunt performers aren’t recognized by the Academy, and it’s not just because he’s extremely close with the stunt performers on his projects either.

As reported by, Jon Bernthal believes that those in the stunt community are in many ways the ones driving audiences into the theaters. What those stunt performers are able to achieve is an exciting part of modern cinematic entertainment and thanks to their constant creativity, audiences never get bored. New and awe-inspiring stunts that people have never seen before keep them interested and compel them to seek out entertainment.

That doesn’t happen by accident, there is a whole community coming up with those stunts and performing them. The actor likes to do his own stunts and even broke his hand filming Season Two of The Punisher, so he has a bit of an idea what those in the stunt community go through. Jon Bernthal also trains with stunt performers and gets the need to go all out in order to deliver a convincing stunt.

As Jon Bernthal stated, when you get down to it, the stunt performers are the ones really putting it on the line. That’s not an exaggeration either, because as much as there are measures in place to prevent serious injury and as important as safety is, things still happen. Stunt performers can and have died in the course of their jobs and their contributions still go unrecognized on Oscar night.

Jon Bernthal isn’t the only one who believes that stunt performers deserve Oscars. Over the years many of those in Hollywood have voiced their support for a stunt category, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Brad Pitt, Steven Spielberg and Helen Mirren. It’s honestly kind of fascinating it hasn’t happened yet given the support behind it.

Instead the Academy attempted to introduce an award for Best Popular Film when there are plenty of other worthy categories, including Best Stunts that could have honored less traditional prestige fare. Jon Bernthal is absolutely right that it is absurd that stunt performers aren’t honored with the industry’s highest form of recognition.

Stunts are one of the most visible parts of a film, they’re the selling point, included in every trailer to delight and excite audiences. But the nature of their job means that the stunt performers themselves are invisible; they disappear into the film, allowing the stars to shine and their names aren’t included on any movie posters. The least we can do is give them one night and one award for all they do.

Despite the cancellation of Marvel’s Netflix series, including The Punisher, Jon Bernthal is still hoping to revisit Frank Castle again someday. In the meantime, he stars as the recently deceased Lee Iacocca in James Mangold’s Ford v Ferrari, in theaters on November 15. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to see what other movies are still on the way this year.

Nick Evans

Nick grew up in Maryland has degrees in Film Studies and Communications. His life goal is to walk the earth, meet people and get into adventures. He’s also still looking for The Adventures of Pete and Pete season 3 on DVD if anyone has a lead.