- Jon Bernthal’s casting as Mikey in The Bear created a reunion with a previous co-star from Netflix’s The Punisher.
- In The Punisher, Bernthal starred as Frank Castle, while Ebon Moss-Bachrach played Micro in season 1.
- Ebon Moss-Bachrach played a role in Jon Bernthal’s casting as Mikey in The Bear, suggesting his name to the show’s crew.
The casting of Jon Bernthal as Mikey Berzatto in FX/Hulu’s The Bear subtly created a charming reunion for a Netflix series that was canceled after only two seasons. The Bear’s cast and characters have seen some overlap with a few other prior TV shows and movies, such as Ayo Edebiri and Molly Gordon having also starred together in Theater Camp (2023), as well as Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Gillian Jacobs having been in HBO’s Girls. Similarly, the casting of Mikey Berzatto for The Bear’s flashback scenes led to the on-screen rejoining of two actors who played allies in a Netflix superhero show.
The Berzatto family tree has seen some of the show’s most surprising casting choices yet, with season 2’s Christmas flashback episode introducing a slew of extended members played by Jamie Lee Curtis, Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk, and John Mulaney. The first surprise casting, however, was Jon Bernthal as Carmy and Sugar’s older brother Mikey, who died by suicide shortly before the pilot episode, leaving his restaurant to Carmy. Mikey, who returned for the Christmas episode in season 2, first appeared in a short season 1 flashback scene, and the crew initially struggled to cast him. With the help of a major The Bear actor, Bernthal landed the role and reunited with a previous co-star.
Mikey’s Jon Bernthal & Richie’s Ebon Moss-Bachrach Both Starred In The Punisher Season 1
With Ebon Moss-Bachrach already playing a main role in the series as “Cousin” Richie, Jon Bernthal’s The Bear casting created a reunion for the actors after The Punisher season 1. In Netflix’s The Punisher, which was canceled by the streaming platform in 2019, Bernthal starred as the titular vigilante, aka Frank Castle, while Moss-Bachrach played David Lieberman/Micro in season 1 of the popular show. Though Bernthal stayed on through season 2 in the main role, The Punisher didn’t bring back Moss-Bachrach’s Micro for the second and final season.
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While Bernthal’s Mikey and Moss-Bachrach’s Richie were such close best friends that they were more like brothers, their characters in The Punisher were still allies but not as deeply emotionally tied to one another. Oddly enough, Frank and Lieberman shared more direct scenes in Netflix’s The Punisher than Mikey and Richie have so far, including The Bear‘s hour-long Christmas flashback episode. Still, there’s a clearly established chemistry between the two actors on screen in The Bear due to their roles in The Punisher, making Richie and Mikey’s backstory feel even more authentic despite only a few minutes together on the Hulu show.
Jon Bernthal’s Michael “Mikey” Berzatto first appears in The Bear season 1, episode 6 for a flashback with Richie, Carmy, and Sugar.
Ebon Moss-Bachrach Helped Get Jon Bernthal Cast In The Bear
Though he doesn’t take full credit for the casting, Moss-Bachrach is part of the reason why Jon Bernthal won his role as Mikey in The Bear. According to CinemaBlend, when the crew was looking at actors to play Mikey, they asked the cast if they had any suggestions, and Moss-Bachrach put forth Bernthal’s name. Richie’s actor stated that he originally thought Mikey shouldn’t have been seen on-screen in The Bear, but thought Bernthal would be a great choice for the role after working together on The Punisher. Still, Moss-Bachrach indicated his belief that Bernthal had already been on the showrunner’s mind after such an enthusiastic response to his suggestion.
- Release Date
- June 23, 2022
- Jeremy Allen White , Ebon Moss-Bachrach , Ayo Edebiri , Lionel Boyce , Liza Colón-Zayas , Abby Elliott , Oliver Platt
- Streaming Service(s)
- Hulu , Disney+
- Christopher Storer