Tom Holland and Jon Bernthal beat out a handful of top actors to score Marvel Studios' coveted roles of Spider-Man and the Punisher, and as it turns out they did so partly by auditioning together. Bernthal, who debuts as the Punisher in March 18's Daredevil second season, stated that he and the Spider-Man actor worked together on audition tapes for Marvel while they were both filming the Irish period film Pilgrimage last year.
“We were making tapes from Ireland in the process of getting him cast in Spider-Man and then he and I made a tape for The Punisher,” Bernthal revealed to the New York Daily News.
In comic books, the Punisher actually debuted in Amazing Spider-Man #129, and went on to have a contentious relationship with the wallcrawler. They also, coincidentally, had a major scene together in Mark Millar and Steve McNiven's Civil War. Bernthal's Frank Castle hasn't been mentioned as having a role in Captain America: Civil War, however.
“During this independent movie that we did in Ireland we were constantly making tapes for Marvel — just acting together," Holland added.
In the past, Marvel has selectively released some audition reels including Tom Hiddleston's audition to be Loki, but Bernthal said getting his and Holland's tapes might be a bit more challenging.
"These tapes definitely do exist, you can call Marvel and ask for it," said the cinematic Frank Castle, "but that’s like breaking into Fort Knox."
Speaking of Thor however, Holland mentioned that during the audition process he asked his In The Heart of the Sea co-star Chris Hemsworth -- a.k.a. Marvel's Thor -- if he could put in a good word for him.
"I emailed him while I was auditioning for the film and said, 'So can you maybe put in a good word for me?'" Holland said.
And Hemsworth did indeed give out an endorsement, vouching for the young actor's professionalism.
"I called the guys at Marvel when they were casting [Spider-Man]," Hemsworth said, "and I heard he was in the final handful of guys and said, 'Look for what it's worth you're not going to meet a harder working more appreciative kind of guy.' I was so blown away by his sort of attitude and work ethic and how good he was. But then I said to Tom, 'I've told them that, so don't prove me wrong.'"
Bernthal makes his debut as Frank Castle/Punisher in Daredevil's second season on March 18.
Tom Holland will debut as Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War, which is scheduled for release May 6.