Warning: Some pretty serious Marvel's The Punisher spoilers are ahead. And pictures of butts.
If you're here based on the headline, then you've more than likely made it to Episode 6 of Marvel's The Punisher — the solo Netflix series about veteran-turned-vigilante Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal), who first appeared in Season 2 of Marvel's Daredevil. You're also probably not here for anything that has to do with Frank. You're probably here for butt-related queries.
Season 1 of The Punisher also features Ben Barnes (Westworld, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian) as Frank's enigmatic BFF Billy Russo who looks amazing in tailored suits and a well-groomed beard. No, seriously, Barnes is treating The Punisher like a 13-episode long audition tape to be the next James Bond villain and it is fantastic. However, Episode 6 raises a very important question. And no, it's not "Is Billy actually a bad guy?" (He is.)
The question is: Was that really Ben Barnes' bare butt in that post-sex walk to the bathroom?
Fun fact: This is the first male bare butt to be exposed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Is it Ben's though? TV Guide decided to investigate by thoroughly crawling through Barnes' other TV appearances for a posterior comparison shot. It was really difficult to stare at that face in his various appearances,so you're welcome for the sacrifice. Unfortunately, it appears that The Punisher is also the first time Barnes (probably) showed his full moon to the world.
Our digging led us to his role in Westworld, in which he was naked for one scene. But sadly, his buns were not visible.
This is a start, but it's not the conclusive proof we're looking for. But we can confirm that horse saddles ruin lives, so there's something.
After a long morning of unsuccessful searches for Ben's buns, it became apparent that there were less-time-consuming ways to answer this very important question. Check The Punisher production notes for info on a body double! Alas, there was nothing concrete there either, but this informative quote was a big clue.
"We did the most work with Ben Barnes who was incredible at getting his training in," stunt coordinator Thom Williams explained. "He kept requesting extra training time. He would come in after they'd wrapped shooting at the end of a day and we'd go and work out with him just to make sure he was ready. I couldn't be prouder of what Ben accomplished and his dedication to this show."
This proves that Ben Barnes was dedicated to giving as authentic a performance as he could. If he was willing to put in extra hours to make sure his fighting and physical training were up to par, would he really phone it in when it came time to showing the goods? Would he betray his craft that way?
There's only one real way to be sure: check the credits. The Episode 6 credits have no mention of a body double for Mr. Barnes.
Thus, we feel safe in concluding, yes, Marvel's The Punisher delivered the first on-screen television appearance of Ben Barnes' butt. Thank you Netflix and Marvel for doing the Lord's work.
Marvel's The Punisher Season 1is now streaming on Netflix.