Jason R. Moore is a producer and a very lucky actor, currently playing the character Curtis Hoyle in Marvel’s “The Punisher”, now streaming on Netflix.
“The Punisher” series is about justice. After exacting revenge on those responsible for the death of his wife and children, Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) uncovers a conspiracy that runs far deeper than New York’s criminal underworld. Now known throughout the city as The Punisher, he must discover the truth about injustices that affect more than his family alone. Bernthal first appeared as The Punisher in the second season of Daredevil. The series also stars Deborah Ann Woll, Ben Barnes, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Michael Nathanson, Daniel Webber, Jaime Ray Newman and Amber Rose Revah.
Moore’s character Curtis Hoyle first appeared in The Punisher #1 (Vol. 2), where Hoyle and Castle served in the same unit during wartime but Hoyle would eventually try to betray Frank. Through the first six episodes of the series, Hoyle is a most ardent and trustworthy friend who is adept at keep Castle’s secrets.
Who’s to say where Curtis Hoyle will land, everything about the Marvel universe is top secret. Here is a brief excerpt from a conversation with Jason R. Moore
Los Angeles Sentinel: Who was excited, in your world when you shared that you — Jason R. Moore —had booked a Marvel series on Netflix?
Jason R. Moore: (Laughing) OMG. Everyone in my life. All my friends. First, all of my friends are actors and comic book fans. They were really hyped. Imagine they were teasing me; ‘you’re an adult and you get to play and you get paid for it?’ I mean, you can’t go wrong with that!
LAS: Is your character a good guy or a bad guy, or is he a bit more complicated?
JRM: Well, you do know that the Marvel universe is very secretive. What I can say, is that it’s going to be interesting to watch as it unfolds. I can say that my loyalty is with both camps. Something about Frank is more immediate. Billy is successful; he has been able to act in the interest of society and is doing well for himself. The relationship with Frank is more secretive. My character is a bit more of a counselor on the show. So, I can see things about people that they’re unable to see for themselves. It’s a pretty interesting dynamic between that buddy
triangle there. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but you know that somebody is going to get betrayed.”
LAS: How do you feel being an African-American man inside the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
JRM: As a Black guy in this universe, I’m so glad to see that it has expanded outside of just comic books. The movies, television, Luke Cage, Black Panther … all of this is just great. I’m happy to be a part of it and I really hope it continues to grow.
LAS: Why do you think these characters—coming from the Marvel universe — are so successful?
JRM: I have to speak to my generation. As a kid, comic books were a big deal. There we ones that we wanted but we could not afford and we talked about, even though sports were a big deal, too, comic books were always there. They were cartoon characters and they had all these big muscles, and they had superpowers and all these super abilities. Fast forward 20 years, and now we are adults and we see these characters coming alive in live action [movies], coming alive on screen.
Now they are tackling [in the movies] real-world problems, real-world issues. Now that nostalgic feeling comes with that. I mean, I still get that same feeling when I see [the character] Wolverine’s claws come out of his hands; I still get that same feeling, to this day, when I see that. When any of these characters with these extraordinary abilities do something that I felt was [helping fight evil] — these are the good guys. [These characters] help people get away from the real world and we can indulge in a fantasy and that can also take them back. It takes me back and I think, that it takes everyone back.
These are grown men and women who are die-hard fans of these comic book movies and these comic book characters.
It takes them back to a childhood where they were innocent, carefree and it’s a good feeling, I think,
LAS: Where do they shoot “The Punisher”?
JRM: In New York. We’re in New York, running amok.
The city has a pulse. The city is alive. I’ve lived in the city for a very long time. It’s a heartbeat. Almost like it’s racing, especially on the weekend. The city seems alive, something is always going on in the city. There are so many people there, it’s high energy. So, I think that feeling manifests itself in film. That’s why filmmakers gravitate to New York and the NYC aesthetic. It’s an old city and yet it’s still modern. Anything you want to shoot that’s gritty, NYC has that feel like no other city.
LAS: Walk me through what it’s like when you get your Marvel script!
JRM: First, you have to sign all these NDA’s (non-disclosure agreements). Then they set up an email system on their server. It’s a Marvel server.
LAS: Cool! This is just like superhero stuff! Please, keep going.
JRM: No Gmail account here. We use the Marvel secure server. The script is then watermarked with your name on it.
Hard copies arrive if you request or if you are in production.
Now hard copies arrive delivered by a very special courier. It’s not just anyone. They will come and drop the script off wherever you are in the city. The fans are so hungry for this stuff … I can understand why they protect their universe.
They want to satisfy their fans. They take their fans very seriously, they respect their fan-base.
LAS: Do you get to meet the writers of “The Punisher?”
JRM: Sometimes, the writers do come on set if it’s their episode. They get so excited when [as an actor] you make their words work.
I remember a writer getting extremely excited after I did one monologue — I can’t spoil this — the writer came over and gave me a great, big hug. Because she was so moved. She’s an artist just like I am, and she loved what I did with her words.
LAS: Your character
JRM: I understand the business of show business. I think that prepares an actor for some level of success in this industry. That’s the part they don’t teach you in acting school.
LAS: Do you have any veterans in your family? Your character, Curtis Hoyle, served in the same unit, during wartime.
JRM: Yes, I do. My sister is a veteran. She was in the Army and a sniper. She’s the only one in the family.
LAS: Growing up, did you think that your sister would grow up to join the military?
JRM: Quite the opposite; in fact, I tried to talk her out of it. A lot of going into the military is for financial reasons, To give themselves opportunities and that was part of the reason [my sister] did it.
LAS: Are you also a writer? I am getting that feeling from our conversation.
JRM: Oh, really? Well I am working on that. I sat my ass down and I churned out a television script and a film script. I have to get better.
LAS: I am impressed. I’m treating myself to the Shonda Rhimes’ Master Class in TV writing.
JRM: Shonda Rhimes’ Master Class in TV writing? I am taking that!
Marvel’s “The Punisher” @Netflix original series, now streaming.