Coming in Hot: Alan Ritchson in Prime Video’s Breakout Hit ‘Reacher’
When the action-thriller Reacher premiered in February, justice-seeking ex–army investigator Jack Reacher (Alan Ritchson, Titans) pounded his way through bad guys…and landed at the top of the ratings charts. The show, adapted from the same Lee Child book series as the Tom Cruise–led films, became Prime Video’s most streamed program in a single week. A lot of the credit goes to its humble star, who embodies a gargantuan 6-foot-5 hero trying to solve a grisly murder case in a seemingly sleepy Georgia town.
Ritchson goes toe-to-toe with TV Guide Magazine for a no-holds-barred chat.
Reacher is described as Sasquatch, and 250 pounds of frontier justice with hands the size of dinner plates. What’s your favorite descriptor?
Alan Ritchson: I think you’ve named them! The deeper into the books you get, the more hostile Lee Child becomes to Reacher. “He’s difficult to look at.” “He’s got a face smashed by two-by-fours.” And Lee’s gone on and on [in interviews] about how perfectly cast I am, and then he says, “He’s such a nerd.… Alan’s perfect for this.” Great. I’m an ugly, face-smashed-by-two-by-fours nerd. Lee, you’ve made your point!
There are some pretty crazy stunts in this show. How much of them did you do?
I love to fight. I love to get in these scenes and be physical. I’m arguing with producers all the time about their concerns and whether insurance will cover whatever happens. I don’t care. You hired me to play Reacher. I’m doing it. I’m going to jump over the fire escape with nothing below and just do it.
Are there any qualities you share with Reacher?
I can’t stand by and watch an injustice happen. I saw somebody break into a car once, and my wife was like, “Please don’t chase him.” I was like, “I gotta go.” I take off and I find him hiding under a car and I drag him out and hold him there.
Reacher has been renewed for Season 2. What can you tell us?
Season 1 was a slow burn. Season 2 begins with Reacher shot out of a cannon, and we’re in the thick of it right away.
All Reacher wants is a bite of peach pie. Was there any actual peach pie on set?
There were hundreds. I showed a ton of self-restraint, because I never took a bite. I thought, “Let me honor the fact that Reacher is being denied what he wants.” So, the first time I took a bite was that scene at the end in [the diner]. That was the worst peach pie I’ve ever had in my life.
So when he’s asked “How was it?” there’s no acting involved—it legitimately sucked. “I’ve had better,” I say as Reacher. Because I have had better.
Reacher, Season 2, TBA, Prime Video