Jack Ryan: Abbie Cornish & Betty Gabriel Return To A Grounded & Complicated Reality In Season 4 - Exclusive Interview

Many actors have taken on the mantle of Jack Ryan over the years, including Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck, and Chris Pine. However, no one has embodied the character for as long as John Krasinski in the self-titled Amazon series. All good things must come to an end, as Jack and his compatriots have one final mission to take care of in the fourth season before the series signs out for good. 

He's had ample help along the way, such as having Dr. Cathy Mueller (Abbie Cornish) in the first season to investigate some Ebola outbreaks. The third season saw him work alongside Elizabeth Wright (Betty Gabriel), who ended the season as the new CIA director. Each woman was part of Jack's life at different points, but they're coming together to help him one last time for Season 4 when it premieres June 30 on Prime Video.

In an exclusive interview with Looper, Cornish and Gabriel spoke about what it was like coming back to the series. While their experiences were unique, due to being part of it at different times, "Jack Ryan" Season 4 has brought many characters back for one last ride to see if the CIA analyst can save the day yet again.

Shooting Jack Ryan Seasons 3 and 4 back to back

This is the fourth and final season of Jack Ryan. What was the mood like on set compared to previous seasons you've worked on the show?

Betty Gabriel: We shot [Seasons 3 and 4] four back-to-back, so it did feel like a continuation. I felt much more rooted in the world, because I had a bit more experience with this character, and she's coming back and ... it felt really good. The fourth season felt much more grounded in a very complicated reality. Season 3 was so off the chain. I was like, "Wow" when I saw it, and a little bit when I was shooting it, I was like, "Whoa, what is this show?" It's so different from what I saw in the previous seasons. They're both really excellent, slightly very different variations on the same theme.

"Jack Ryan" is very action-oriented with scenes filmed all over the globe. Were there any Season 4 scenes that stood out to you for being particularly challenging or just fun?

Gabriel: I had a whole lot of fun walking into a room full of people. It was scary as hell ... I don't think I'd ever really experienced anything like that as an actor, maybe half the number. Giving a speech in a room full of people, that was, "Wow." Quite an experience.

How their characters' have changed going into Jack Ryan Season 4

Abbie, you're returning to "Jack Ryan" for Season 4 after appearing in Season 1. Was there any difficulty getting back into your character's mindset, or was there anything that took you by surprise with how your character has changed from then to now?

Cornish: Yeah. Surprisingly, it was relatively easy to dip back in, but because of the nature of her character. She's pretty straightforward. She's not playing games. She's very honest, open heart, all American. It is not too much of a giant leap to get in and under her skin or have her under my skin. I was interested to see what it would be like stepping back onto the show after so many years, because we shot Season 1 in 2017. 

It was a long time ago, but weirdly enough, it felt very much the same. We were shooting in Budapest in Hungary, so we're with the Hungarian crew as opposed to a Canadian crew. Originally, we shot Season 1 in Montreal, and I missed Season 2 and Season 3, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but it felt very much the same. It was sort of strange.

Betty, last we saw your character in Season 3, she was promoted to CIA director. Were there any changes you made to how your character behaved to reflect this development going into Season 4?

Gabriel: It's such a confidence booster when you're wearing really nice suits because she got a pay bump. She got a nicer wardrobe. It's just very empowering to ... have the president say, "Listen, I want you in charge." It's like, "Okay, let's step into that." Every woman that is in this industry should play a woman in power. It is the best, and in a male-dominant show, it's a male-dominant organization, so yeah, it feels good. How did that change from Season 3? There's a stronger sense of, "I'm meant to do this, I'm good at this, and I will be the best director that the CIA has ever had." Mic drop.

The first two episodes of "Jack Ryan" Season 4 premiere on Amazon Prime Video on June 30.

This interview has been edited for clarity.