Alan Ritchson’s original audition for Reacher saw him channel Waterworld

Luckily, using “Waterworld” didn’t hurt his chances of becoming Jack Reacher. Eight months after the first audition, a different script and casting director meant another chance to impress. Alan Ritchson revealed that the casting director spotted something during that first audition and wanted him back for the next round. Ritchson prepared — not by watching Costner’s film — but by browsing through Child’s long series of books.

He also had to navigate auditions during the pandemic, which meant using Zoom to impress the creative team. Ritchson found himself providing executives with some interesting statistics. “There was a lot of, like, ‘Pull out a tape measure and take pictures of yourself barefoot and in your underwear,'” he explained. Still, the actor knew those making the decision were just as nervous as he was about getting it right. “I [had] to reassure them I told the truth about what I would bring to this [and] what I had to offer.

While still far from an easy process, focusing on the author’s vision for the character helped Ritchson adapt to what readers and the author himself wanted. The child openly praised the actor’s work in the role. “If you liked ‘Reacher,’ Alan nails it and it just gets better and better,” Child told the Toronto Sun.

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