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Jon Bernthal Thinks There Should Be An Oscar Category For Stunt Performers

Gettyimages | Gregg DeGuire
By Lynne Versluys

Prepping For His New Project

Gettyimages | Phillip Faraone

The Punisher may be over at Netflix, but star Jon Bernthal has been keeping very busy post-cancellation. He has six films in either pre and post production, and he's busy promoting his latest movie, Ford v Ferrari. Ford v Ferrari tells the tale of the legendary face off between the two auto giants who went head to head in the 1966 race, 24 Hours of Le Mans. Bernthal portrays legendary American businessman Lee Iacocca.

He Makes A Great Point

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Ford v Ferrari is already starting to garner some Oscar buzz, and in a recent interview Bernthal weighed in on some changes that he thought should be made to the biggest film awards. Namely, regarding the recognition of stunt men.

"They’re my brothers, they’re the people I’m closest with on set. I think it’s absolutely a crime there’s not an Academy Award for stunt performers. The stunt community, they’re the ones really putting it on the line. The creativity that comes out of the stunt community is mind-boggling."

A Celebration Of The Technical Skills

Gettyimages | Matt Winkelmeyer

Bernthal continued, explaining that stunt performers are out there on movie sets giving 110% every single day.

"I think nowadays, it’s one of the key reasons why people go and seek out entertainment, because of how good the stunts are, and there are people actually doing that. I train with those guys every day, I try to go in full-out. It’s kind of the mantra of a stunt guy, ‘Do it hard, do it once.’ Don’t pull a punch, because then you’re gonna have to do it 15 times. ‘Just hit me, and do it once.’ So we try to kind of live by that."

It's Way Past Time To Celebrate This Skill Set

Gettyimages | Frazer Harrison

The Academy Awards honor a number of technical aspects of making films -- visual effects, various types of editing -- so why would they refuse to honor the work done by stunt men?

Many prominent figures in Hollywood, including Brad Pitt (who just played a stunt man in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood), Helen Mirren, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese have all pushed to have a category for Stunt Work added.

The Academy Is Slow To Change

Gettyimages | Phillip Faraone

The Academy is very slow to change. Remember the disastrous idea to add a Best Popular film category? Or how slow they are to add diversity to their voting body? The Academy seems content to keep honoring the same people with the same repetitive projects forever, but adding a category like Best Stunts would be an interesting way to push the institution to do something new. Now that would be an Oscar upset.

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