Uzimon’ lands role in The Punisher
A Bermudian actor and singer has joined the Marvel Universe — and came in for some punishment.
Daniel Frith won a role in Netflix’s The Punisher and will take a beating at the hands of the show’s anti-hero.
But the New York resident said his appearance in the second season of the hit show, which launched last Friday, was “total boyhood dream fulfilment”.
The 40-year-old said: “The Punisher was always my favourite Marvel character. He’s Batman without a conscience, so that was enough to push me through.
“It was a pretty long, hard, physically demanding day because of the nature of the scene, but Jon Bernthal who plays The Punisher is just a tremendous actor and a total beast, so keeping up with his level of stamina is inspiration enough.”
Mr Frith, who plays someone who gets on the wrong side of Bernthal’s title character, said he also had the bonus of his own stunt double for the part.
He added: “He was taller and better-looking than me.”
Mr Frith, better known to Bermudians as reggae artist Uzimon, has also appeared in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
He made his Broadway debut in The Present in 2017, alongside Academy Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett, who was nominated for a Tony Award for the show.
Mr Frith said the New York production was a “once in a lifetime” experience.
He said: “I would pay just to watch that woman rehearse, so I couldn’t believe I was getting paid to be in the room with her.”
Mr Frith said he was hired as an understudy for the show, which was a transfer from Australia’s Sydney Theatre Company and retained its original cast.
He added: “The audition process was uncommonly lengthy for an understudy role and I later found out it was because there was a strong possibility due to another actor’s conflict that I would actually be going on for a spell.
“Ultimately, that actor never ended up having to leave, but during previews one of the other actors got sick so I actually ended up getting to go on several times in his place — with no rehearsal.
“I had one ten-minute rehearsal blocking with Cate and Richard Roxburgh, the other star of the show, 30 minutes before curtain and then it was baptism by fire.”
Mr Frith said that in the first show he was “a deer in headlights” and was more worried about remembering where to stand rather than his performance.
He added: “I was just trying to do my best not to screw Cate up. But you can’t screw her up.
“Beyond being one of the most amazing actors on the planet, she was just the one of the kindest and most down-to-earth, egoless people I had ever witnessed in the business. She put me at ease completely.”
Mr Frith said he hoped to set up a programme in Bermuda to help promote the performing arts to young people.
He said: “For years when my father was alive, my mother and father and myself ran a summer camp at the Bermuda Musical & Dramatic Society.
“When I started doing theatre professionally I lost the time to commit and ended up teaching intermittently in the summers here and there for the great people at the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Bermuda, but I love teaching Bermudian children.
“Being in the middle of the pond gives them this incredible perspective and sensibility and humour that I always feel privileged to be a part of in drawing out.”
Mr Frith said he wanted the programme to be “one of a kind”.
He said: “I don’t want to teach such a collaborative art form as theatre by saying ‘OK children, we’re putting on Beauty and The Beast. You’re Belle, you’re Gaston’.
“I’m all about developing original work with the children, so they feel like the chefs and the cooks in the kitchen.
“Acting is not so much a creative art form as it is interpretive. I want the children to feel ownership of their work in every facet of the productions. They always have the best ideas — trust me.”