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Jon Bernthal on Mob City: "I didn't need to see a script"

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Jon Bernthal has revealed that he accepted the lead role in Mob City without seeing a script.

Bernthal re-teams with his Walking Dead cohort Frank Darabont on the noir drama, which gets its UK premiere tonight on FOX.

Jon Bernthal in 'Mob City'

© TNT


"He reached out to me and said that he was writing something for me," the actor told Digital Spy. "He said that as far as TV was concerned, he wanted me to stay available.

"That was basically all I needed to hear - I mean, it's Frank. He's my friend, he's my brother and I owe him so much. That humbling and unbelievably kind gesture on his part meant the world to me."

Bernthal called the Shawshank Redemption filmmaker "one of the greatest American storytellers we have".

"I didn't need to see a script, I didn't need to see a contract," he insisted. "Later he sent me the first 15 pages of the Mob City script and I got so excited... but I was already in."

Jon Bernthal as Joe Teague in Mob City: Episode 5

© Warner Bros.


Bernthal, who plays shady detective Joe Teague in the new series, also admitted that he was a film noir novice prior to taking on his new role.

"I didn't know much about it at all," he confessed. "Frank is such a cinephile and he's a great guy to walk you through the genre. It's sort of exactly what he did with Walking Dead - his idea was to bring the zombie horror genre to the long-form television format.

"Frank said, 'Let's try to go after the Mad Men / Sopranos audience but bring them pure genre'. I think that's exactly what he's doing here. He's bringing a classic film noir format to television."

Mob City starts tonight at 10pm on FOX.

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