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A Black man in a Marvel world: Jason R. Moore in ‘The Punisher’

LAPACAZO SANDOVAL | 11/30/2017, 4:10 p.m.
Jason R. Moore’s character Curtis Hoyle first appeared in “The Punisher #1 (Vol. 2)” in which Curtis and Frank served ...
Jason Moore

“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.

Jason R. Moore’s character Curtis Hoyle first appeared in “The Punisher #1 (Vol. 2)” in which Curtis and Frank served in the same unit during wartime but Curtis eventually tried to betray Frank. Through the first six episodes of the series, Curtis is a most ardent and trustworthy friend who is adept at keeping Frank’s secrets.

Here is a brief excerpt from a conversation with Jason R. Moore:

AmNews: Who was excited in your world when you shared that you had booked a Marvel series on Netflix?

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. 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!

AmNews: Is your character a good guy or a bad guy, or is he a bit more complicated?

Moore: 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.

AmNews: How do you feel being an African-American man inside the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Moore: 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.

AmNews: Where do they shoot “The Punisher?”

Moore: 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 the 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.

AmNews: Walk me through what it’s like when you get your Marvel script!

Moore: First, you have to sign all these NDAs [nondisclosure agreements]. Then they set up an email system on their server. 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.

AmNews: Are you also a writer? I am getting that feeling from our conversation.

Moore: 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.

AmNews: I am impressed. I’m treating myself to the Shonda Rhimes’ MasterClass in TV writing.

Moore: Shonda Rhimes’ MasterClass in TV writing? I am taking that!