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Jack Reacher's Comedic Side Came As A Shock To Alan Ritchson

Audiences love seeing an actor become a fan of the source material they're adapting, and that's precisely what happened to Alan Ritchson after he landed the lead role in Prime Video's "Reacher." The actor brushed up on Lee Child's work, reading 24 novels to perfect the character, which helped him learn a thing or two about the stoic soldier, including how funny he is.

"He's funny," Ritchson told Jake's Takes. "He's got this funny, dry, sardonic sense of humor. It's dry, but he's smart enough to be a smart a** in a funny way. You know, he's okay with making people feel uncomfortable. There were several times that I laughed out loud, and I was like, 'I didn't realize that that's what this was.' It's super entertaining."

Before reading the books, Ritchson admits to thinking that Jack Reacher was a more one-dimensional character, assuming that being violent and fighting were the only things he really did. It didn't take long for him to realize the error of his ways, falling in love with Child's character and gaining a deeper understanding of who the character is. His deep dive into the mythos of Jack Reacher paid off, as "Reacher" burst onto the scene in 2022, giving fans a more accurate adaptation of Child's novels than the previous feature-length films.

Alan Ritchson credits the books for his portrayal of Jack Reacher

Although hiring Alan Ritchson to play Jack Reacher now seems like a no-brainer, he wasn't the studio's first choice. In fact, Amazon turned him down before circling back to him, but even before then, Tom Cruise brought the character to the big screen. Even though longtime fans weren't too fond of the action star in the lead role, Ritchson won't say anything negative about it, crediting the number of books he had to pull from as the recipe to his success.

"By the time I took on the role," Ritchson told Jake's Takes when asked how his Reacher differs from Cruise's, "I had 24 books to look at, right? There was no question I had as to how Reacher would react in a certain moment. So for us, it was a collaborative effort, and it was just a question of where do we dial in the mystery, the thriller, the drama, the romance, or the levity."

When Cruise began filming "Jack Reacher" in late 2011, Lee Child had just released his 16th novel, "The Affair," so Ritchson had nearly ten more stories to familiarize himself with by the time "Reacher" began production. Amazon's series also began Reacher's story from the beginning, adapting Child's first novel, "Killing Floor," while Cruise's films jumped into book nine, "One Shot," and book eighteen, "Never Go Back."