TV

Alan Ritchson’s Weirdest Pre-Reacher Roles


Before he became Jack Reacher, Alan Ritchson appeared in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, New Girl, and even Syfy’s Blood Drive.

Jack Reacher (Alan Ritchson), Frances Neagly (Maria Sten), and Karla Dixon (Serinda Swan) in Prime Video's Reacher
Photo: Brooke Palmer | Prime Video

Alan Ritchson has become well-known for playing beefy characters with a strong sense of justice after starring in Titans as Hank Hall/Hawk and his current gig as the titular hero in Prime Video’s Reacher. But before playing TV’s biggest boy Jack Reacher, Ritchson appeared in a variety of movies and TV shows, some more unexpected than others.

From Brooklyn Nine-Nine to New Girl, here are some of Alan Ritchson’s weirdest pre-Reacher roles.

Gloss – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Alan Ritchson doesn’t have much screen time in the Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire, but in that short amount of time he’s able to give a surprising amount of depth to his character. Gloss was raised as a career tribute from District 1, and went on to win his year, only to be thrust into the arena once again in the Quarter Quell. Gloss and many of the other victors have enjoyed the life of luxury promised to them by the Capitol after their victory in their respective Hunger Games, and are unhappy that they are once again being forced to fight to the death. Even Gloss, who grew up in the shadow of the Capitol and more privy to its propaganda isn’t afraid to show his disdain during his pre-games interview. As the character’s name suggests, Gloss isn’t meant to be much more than a tool for the Capitol, but thanks to Ritchson, we get to see a bit more of his humanity lurking under his shiny surface.

Arthur Curry/Aquaman – Smallville

Believe it or not, Alan Ritchson was the first actor to bring a live-action version of Aquaman to life in the CW show Smallville. He only appeared a few times throughout the series’ 10 season run, but was an important addition to the show’s makeshift Justice League team. Due to the origin-story nature of Smallville, we got to know Arthur Curry more than the aquatic superhero he would eventually become. Arthur and Clark didn’t always get along either, and it was nice to see someone show Clark that there’s more than one way to save the world. Though Ritchson was still incredibly fit in this role, he obviously had to have more of a swimmer’s physique, and it’s interesting to see him play a hero that can’t just punch his way out of a fight.

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