EPISODE 9: JON BERNTHAL

 
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JON BERNTHAL

On making self-criticism work for you, living life with stakes, and who to look out for at the boxing gym.

Actor, Jon Bernthal is best known for his portrayal of Shane Walsh on the AMC series, The Walking Dead. You may also recognize him from his many roles on the big screen in films like, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Sicario, The Accountant, Baby Driver, Widows and so many more. Most recently, he starred in The Punisher on Netflix.

Jon Bernthal on IMDB
Jon Bernthal on Wikipedia


QUOTES FROM THIS EPISODE

17:17 ~ “But all of a sudden you're down two runs and the bases are loaded and you got two outs and it's like, 'what are you gonna do?...' And that's sort of the magic of baseball. It's preparation... how Do you deal with the same situation over and over and over again? The only thing that changes is the stakes. So it's like you've gotta make it the same every time. You've got to be able to find the same excitement, the same vitality every single at-bat, every single throw as if it's for real, as if it's for the first time, as if it's for the most important time. So what my coach would say is when you start to spiral and start to say a million things - 'holy shit, oh my God it's all riding on this…’ It's just a teeny shift when you start getting that negativity in. But then what happens is it grows and grows and grows and grows. What he always would say is just 'step out of the batter's box and remember why you started playing the game in the first place. Remember what it was like when you just wanted to have fun and you loved the game...' It's something I totally take with me into acting.”

19:32 ~ “You know, I spiraled... ‘I'm fucking this up, I'm failing I'm not doing this...’ You start to put all these voices in everybody's head... and the truth is… I think that there are times where self-criticism... is something that has absolutely made me better, has driven me. It’s a huge reason for the fact that... this acting thing has put food on the table and clothes on my kids’ back and provided the life that we live… I'm so grateful for the self-loathing and the self-hatred has driven me just like anything else… [But] the best things about people can easily be the worst things about people and that self-criticism and self-loathing can tear you apart and you've gotta figure out, just like anything else, how can you make these things work for you rather than work against you.”

36:35 ~ “I think that the times our lives at least for me when I've been most happy is when I've been thoroughly alive. The problem is is that if you're doing that, if the way that you find that, is any host of drugs or fighting or alcohol or promiscuity, whatever your thing is that you do that makes you feel sort of alive and vibrant. The problem is is that a lot of those things they go hand in hand with like some really negative ramifications for other people which I think ultimately, at least for me, were really bringing me down and really making me full of shame and regret regret and remorse. Whereas in this one I was getting was positive feedback and for once in my life, this wild abandonment that I was tapping into and... I fell in love all of a sudden with movies and theater and watching these actors tap into this energy that had only gotten me in trouble before, now I could... Be dangerous on a stage. I could think awful thoughts. I could go to these really, really crazy dark places but all of a sudden people were saying, 'bravo man,' not like, 'hey dude... you're not fit to be around us, you're trouble, you're shitty... you're bad.’

42:28 ~ “You know I think somehow we've gotten to this place where being steadfast in your beliefs, being completely unbending, and being completely unwilling to hear other people out, has somehow taken the place of being strong or tough or patriotic or American, when in fact it's like the absolute opposite. In my opinion, there's nothing more strong or patriotic than being like, 'Oh you think differently than me? What are you got to say, dude? Let's talk about it...' and it just as a man... I think a lot of it is because of (I don't want to be political) but I think a lot of it is because of who our president is now. But I think it goes way beyond that... To me, look I've fought in gyms all over this country and the guy who talks the loudest and wears the brightest colors is the guy you got to worry the least about. It's the guy who's respectful, who smiles, who's humble, says, 'hey man you want to get a little bit of work today?' Like that's a guy I've got to watch out for.”

42:28 ~ “You know I think somehow we've gotten to this place where being steadfast in your beliefs, being completely unbending, and being completely unwilling to hear other people out, has somehow taken the place of being strong or tough or patriotic or American, when in fact it's like the absolute opposite. In my opinion, there's nothing more strong or patriotic than being like, 'Oh you think differently than me? What you gotta say, dude? Let's talk about it...' and it just as a man... I think a lot of it is because of (I don't want to be political) but I think a lot of it is because of who our president is now. But I think it goes way beyond that... To me, look I've fought in gyms all over this country and the guy who talks the loudest and wears the brightest colors is the guy you got to worry the least about. It's the guy who's respectful, who smiles, who's humble, says, 'hey man you want to get a little bit of work today?' Like that's a guy I've got to watch out for.

45:15 ~ “I think there's there's never a there's no downside to empathy. And I think that it is so lacking... we live in such a comfortable, coddled world right now that we really can just escape to our own little pods. But I think once you really put yourself in other people's shoes and and really say,'why do you feel that way? How do you [feel that way]?' First of all, it sparked so much curiosity. It's so interesting and so fascinating and I think that you can find, as far as the acting part of it, if you get behind somebody’s cause, even if it's just terrible, [if] you really try to understand it, you can learn so much about about yourself and I think it helps with all your relationships with everybody around you.”

58:01 ~You talk about, 'how do we find vitality and how do we live life with stakes?' Change. Change yourself. Change something that's not working. Because when you change something, you're giving something up and when you give something up, there's a hole, and when there's a hole it's fucking scary as shit and you don't know who you are and you're living on the edge.”

1:02:48 ~ “In every situation, go into it with open eyes and an open heart. You never know what you're going to learn. You never know who you're gonna fall in love with, who's going to inspire you in some certain way... It's a giant world full of inspiration and you gotta keep your eyes and your heart open to it. Else it's gonna pass you the fuck by. And I think that that risk enough should drive you.”




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