I Smell Sheep recently attended Big WOW! Comic Fest in San Jose CA. Among the many folks we had the wonderful opportunity to meet that day was the man who played Punisher in the 2004 Marvel Studios mega hit Mr. Thomas Jane! You may also remember some of his other films like: The Mist, Deep Blue Sea and Dreamcatcher.
Jane was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Cynthia, an antiques dealer, and Michael Elliott, a biogenetic engineer. In 1987, he graduated from Thomas Sprigg Wootton High School in Montgomery County, Maryland.
At age 18, Jane relocated to Hollywood to pursue an acting career. He was initially homeless and lived out of his car. Regarding his time as a busker, Jane has noted "I had two songs in my repertoire that I hammered to death — 'Hey Joe' and 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door'....People used to pelt me with change just to shut me up."
Jane began his acting career with the Telugu film Padamati Sandhya Ragam (1986), directed by Jandhyala, a renowned filmmaker in Telugu Cinema. His early roles included Zeph in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992). He had supporting roles in several high profile films, including The Crow: City of Angels (1996), Boogie Nights (1997), The Thin Red Line (1998), Thursday (1998) and Magnolia (1999). After receiving critical acclaim as baseball player Mickey Mantle in 61*, Jane began receiving leading roles such as that of Andre Stander in the 2003 South African film, Stander for which he gained further critical acclaim.
Jane, director Jonathan Hensleigh and Avi Arad have said in many interviews that Jane was the first and only actor to be asked to play the title role in the 2004 movie The Punisher. Jane initially turned down the role twice, as he did not have much interest in the superhero genre. Jane said that when they asked him the second time to play the Punisher it was Tim Bradstreet's artwork of the Punisher that piqued his interest. After finding out that the character was not a traditional superhero, but more of an anti-hero and a vigilante crime fighter, he accepted. He read as many Punisher comics as he could find and quickly became a fan. Jane trained for 6 or 7 months with Navy SEALs and gained more than twenty pounds of muscle for the part.
On December 18, 2008, HBO announced it was picking up the dark comedy Hung, and Jane was contracted to star in the show. He plays the character of Ray Drecker, a high school history teacher and baseball coach, who, after attending a self help class while being down on his luck, decides to market the large size of his penis as a path to success. The series was renewed for a second season which aired in the summer of 2010.
Truly an amazing actor who we're excited to continue watching in his upcoming roles!
Thomas was kind enough to sign a Punisher comic book for us to giveaway today. So, if you would like to have your very own copy make sure to list the following in the comments below:
1. Your Email Address
2. If you could have the Punisher be your BFF for a day what would you have him do? (It can be anything you can think of!)
3. Do you follow the blog? If so make sure to tell us for DOUBLE entries.
Contest is open to everyone! Ends June 9th at midnight. Good luck!