We thought Hollywood had room for only one movie star named Tom. Mr. Cruise, that is. But The Punisher's Tom Jane (the artist formerly known as Thomas) has other ideas. Ads for his new indie film Stander — which opens Friday in limited release — feature his new stage moniker.
Apparently, Jane thought Thomas sounded too old-fashioned for an up-and-coming matinee idol. "I'm just trying to get my wife [Patricia Arquette] to call me Tom," the 35-year-old laughs. "I thought if I put it on billboards maybe she'd get the hint!"In Stander, Jane plays Andre Stander, the legendary South African detective turned bank robber. Playing this part required him to become a master of disguise, changing his wardrobe several times a day for the robbery scenes. Jane thrived on playing the real-life antihero. "My allegiance was to Andre Stander the man," he enthuses. "Not the fans, not the family, not the country, not what people thought of him one way or another, but to the actual man. When I die, I don't want to meet this guy up there and have him tell me that I f----- it up."
He'll continue the tough-guy thing by reprising his role as vigilante Frank Castle in the upcoming Punisher sequel. Jane can't wait to get started, despite the fact that the film didn't rack up big numbers at the box office. "It is a niche-market film and it will always be that. And that is what it should be," he sighs. "It really saddens me that if a film doesn't sell a million Happy Meals, then it is considered to be a failure. I like movies that don't have to cater and appeal to everybody."
Here's some sequel scoop for Punisher aficionados: "For me, the second one would be an exploration of the morality of what he does," Jane says. "He is so close to being a bad guy in what he does. Where do you draw the line between what you're doing being justifiable or not? The first one ended with him busting in[to] a club and taking out all those people. I think the second one will open where the first one left off.
"[It'll be] just incredibly violent and it will just get more and more violent as the film goes on," he declares. "That's the kind of film that it should be. A real take-no-prisoners kind of an action film — and g--damnit, it should p--- a lot of people off."