“I’ve been wearing Shane’s boots for the last two years,” Bernthal tells Zap2it. “I don’t want you to think I’m a weirdo, but I guess I just don’t shop very much and I wear a lot of Shane’s clothes.”
Bernthal’s new TNT pilot “L.A. Noir” is set in the 1940s and, says Bernthal, it isn’t too early to start getting into character.
“It’s time for me to start wearing some of Joe Teague’s clothes,” he says of his character, an LAPD cop hot on the trail of gangster Mickey Cohen. “It makes a difference in the way you walk, the way you carry yourself and I need to start shedding a lot of the modernisms that are kind of ingrained in my behavior.”
“L.A. Noir” creator Frank Darabont is helping with the transformation, too.
“I just was over at his house today and got a bunch of suits that he wants me to wear around town so I’m going to look like a weirdo like 1947 all over L.A. But I’m down for it,” he says.
Darabont, who originally hired Bernthal for “The Walking Dead,” is also helping get the actor’s head in the game.
“I know very little about noir and I’m going into this process very much a rookie,” he says. “I think that’s actually cool because I’m having Frank steer me through and tell me what to listen to, what to look at, what to read. You know, I’m reading a lot of Raymond Chandler, watching a lot of really old movies.”
And, in the end, Bernthal already considers the fledgling project a success.
“I love Frank Darabont with all my heart and I want to do right by him. No matter what happens with this show, just to be around an artist like him is an inspiration.”