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Wait, Reacher Star Alan Ritchson's Physical Preparation For The Role Involved Popeye's Fried Chicken?

Alan Ritchson as Jack Reacher Prime Video
(Image credit: Prime Video)

You might think that being an action hero is all glitz and glamor. But in order to become the towering figures we see on screen, actors got through rigorous preparations that often require bizarre tactics. Take Alan Ritchson, for example. He’s currently holding it down as investigator Jack Reacher on the TV series Reacher, one of the best Amazon Prime Video shows airing at the moment. And in order to become the size and shape that Reacher requires, Ritchson went through a process that involved smoothies, protein… and Popeye’s chicken sandwiches. 

No one is going to accuse Alan Ritchson of being unhealthy. The man looks like he was sculpted from marble. But that’s because the actor and father of three boys committed to the training that came with being the lead in Reacher. While being interviewed on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Ritchson opened up about his Reacher diet, and explained:

I put on 30 pounds, which is… Have you ever put on 30 pounds? It’s a full-time job to eat enough to put on 30 pounds. I had an assistant whose only job was to bring me food. It was like a conveyor belt of smoothies and protein. … You can get pretty clever with this. I would order the crew Popeye’s Chicken Sandwiches (and) cookies, just so I could get the kind of calories I wanted. It looks like a goodwill gesture. ‘Leave a dozen of those in my trailer, please!’

Most of you reading this fight daily to lose weight. The idea of putting on 30 additional pounds sounds lethal. Of course, Alan Ritchson was turning it all into muscle, so that he could learn unique new combat techniques and pull off fight sequences like this in Reacher scenes. 

And now, Alan Ritchson is going to have to maintain that physique for a little while longer, because Amazon Prime Video already renewed Reacher for a second season. We have a bunch of questions about Reacher season two that we’d like to have answered, including when the filming might begin, and what content it could include. We also asked Alan Ritchson which Lee Child book he would like to adapt, even though he acknowledges that he doesn’t have much of a say in the direction that showrunner Nick Santora wants to go in. 

So we will have to patiently wait for updates and news on the filming of Reacher season two. While you wait, make sure your Amazon Prime Video subscription is up to date, because the streaming service still offers plenty of options with its Amazon Prime movies and deep archive of television shows that can keep you streaming for months. 

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.