Jamaican in Netflix's The Punisher
Local comic book fans will be happy to know that there is a Jamaican playing alongside Marvel's gritty, take-no-prisoners superhero The Punisher on the popular Netflix streaming platform.
Jamaican Jason R. Moore portrays the trusted, confident Curtis Hoyle of The Punisher played by Jon Bernthal. The second season premiered on Friday January 18, 2019. It is a lot more bloody than last season. This time around, the audience will find Hoyle being forced to choose between being an upstanding citizen and living a 'normal' life or continuing down a destructive path.
Born in Jamaica, Moore lived in New York before relocating to Los Angeles to further his career after college. Moore is an example of the streaming service's Strong Black Lead initiative.
Curtis Hoyle first appears in Marvel comic The Punisher #1 (Vol. 2) where Hoyle and Frank Castle (portrayed by Jon Bernthal) served together in the same unit. However, Hoyle would eventually try to betray Frank. In the Netflix series, Hoyle is actually the most ardent and trustworthy friend who is adept at keeping Castle's secrets.
Hoyle, a former US Navy Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman became the leader of a therapy group after losing the lower part of his left leg in combat. Moore himself never served in the military, however, his sister is an army veteran and a sniper.
In the comic books, Hoyle is white. According to Moore, casting a black man in the role was ultimately inconsequential because in the books, Hoyle is a minor character. "They could take liberties with the character, who is not so big in the comic book. But Marvel has always been diverse with these projects. They have no problem mixing things up with race. It wasn't a big discussion," he said.
'The Road To Zion'
Moore was just a baby when he emigrated to the United States in 1983. "I've been in the States pretty much my whole life," he said. His family hails from the Red Hills area in St Andrew. Despite leaving as a tiny tot, the actor maintains strong ties with the land of his birth. "I'm always in Jamaica. I was just there in August because I had to get my passport renewed," Moore told The Sunday Gleaner.
Before Netflix whisked him away for his role as Curtis Hoyle in The Punisher, Moore was in Jamaica in the role of an executive producer, at the helm of his own movie - The Road To Zion. "I was going to produce the story of what happened in Tivoli Gardens. That didn't work because of The Punisher," he shared.
Needless to say, the local industry's meagre size made it difficult for Moore to dive right in. "It was a very small industry - so it was tough because I don't have the connections. We had a whole week of casting and scouting. I wanted to shoot a film on my own in the Blue Mountains. It was tough trying to find people to work on the crew."
But he hasn't given up hope. From the connections made before being cast as Hoyle, Moore intends to continue his film - eventually. "I'm going to use the same actors and actresses, if they're available. I'm going off to shoot another project in New Mexico on January 28 - another one I'm doing myself. Once that's done and I see what's happening with The Punisher, then I can get back to Road to Zion," he said.
While Moore waits to learn the fate of The Punisher and Hoyle and nemesis Bill Russo, along with the rest of us, he has also invested in the back-end of television and film production with the development of his own light box, Anthem One. Beyond his efforts to produce and direct original content, Moore invested in the technology saying: "Lights are always designed and calibrated for white skin, and they've used these lights for 80 years. It has always had a muddy effect on brown skin it just didn't look vibrant. Now, I invested in this company where they design the light that considers darker skin. It works on all," he said.
Anthem One is not restricted to film production. Moore explained: "It's very complex. It can be used for agriculture - indoor farming if you need to replicate sunlight. The little box doesn't get hot. It's intended to replace the big lights, so using these, the cost of production goes down. It leaves a smaller footprint. That's the goal with Anthem One."