jon bernthal
U.S. actor Jon Bernthal poses before a gala screening of his film "Fury" in London October 19, 2014. Reuters/Neil Hall

Jon Bernthal may be known as Frank Castle (a.k.a. The Punisher) now, but fans previously saw him take on the undead in AMC’s “The Walking Dead” as Shane Walsh. Despite his portrayal as Shane bringing him to many people’s radars, the character had a short stint on the show, having been killed off in season 2. Most recently, Bernthal revealed that he was aware of his character’s unfortunate fate right from the very beginning, going on to add that he much preferred his character being written out instead of having a long-drawn journey with a story whose conclusion would still be up in the air.

Speaking to IGN, Bernthal shared that he was adamant about portraying Shane despite auditioning for both the aforementioned character and the show’s protagonist, Rick Grimes. “During the audition process, all the men they were looking at had to audition for both Rick and Shane, and I was very clear with [then showrunner] Frank [Darabont] that I wanted to audition for Shane,” Bernthal explained. “That’s what I wanted, and he said, ‘You know he’s not going to last…’ and I said, ‘That’s the character. The guy had a built-in beginning, middle and end,’ and oftentimes you don’t get that as a character. I sort of prefer that.”

Bernthal also divulged that he was glad Shane was going to be killed off in the story. “I loved knowing that he was going to die,” he continued. “I loved knowing that he was going to lose his mind. I loved being able to star in it, from the absolute opposite end of the spectrum — being the best friend possible and loving this man so much and knowing that I have to go to the place where he was going to go.”

While the role of Rick later on went to Andrew Lincoln, Bernthal’s Shane ultimately acted as a necessary foil to bring out even more facets to Rick early on in the show. The friendship between the two characters reached a climax when Shane died at the hands of Rick; the drama was further intensified when an undead Shane was shot in the head by Rick’s son, Carl (portrayed by actor Chandler Riggs).

With “The Walking Dead” having recently wrapped up its seventh season — with an eighth one already on the way — it was been quite a while since viewers last saw Shane in the series. Following his exit from the show, Bernthal has been kept busy, starring in films such as 2013’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” and, more recently, 2016’s “The Accountant.” On the small screen, the actor will be starring in the Netflix adaptation of Marvel’s “The Punisher” as the titular character.