Movie star Thomas Jane has signed up for two sequels to The Punisher weeks before the first film is released - even though it means months of being beaten to a pulp.

The actor, who is married to Patricia Arquette, refused to let a stuntman take over fight scenes in the comic book adaptation, and that meant weeks of fist fights and bruises.

Jane, who trained with two hardcore Navy Seals to get into tiptop shape, says, "I took a lickin'. I didn't know I'd have to go through that kind of punishment to become The Punisher. It was pretty gruelling.

"It wasn't fun getting thrown through a wall or slugged with a toilet. I prepared for it like I would a professional sport. You know going in that if you want to play you're going to get banged up.

"I'll have to start the training all over again. There is a certain satisfaction that you get out of it, and, having been there once, I can get back into the groove again. The longer I do it, the easier it is to revisit.

"I just try and stay in relatively good shape in between so it's not terribly difficult to get back there. I hope to push myself even more."

08/04/2004 14:50