John Krasinski Explains Why He's A Good Fit For Playing Jack Ryan But Not Superman

Jack Ryan Season 1's John Krasinski and Wendell Pierce on Amazon

When Amazon's Jack Ryan hits the schedule later this week, we'll get to see a new version of the famous Tom Clancy character hit a screen. In the past, Jack Ryan has been played by numerous well-known actors, starting with Alec Baldwin in The Hunt for Red October in 1990, and continuing through Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck and Chris Pine. (The latter has admitted the movie with his version wasn't totally on the money.) Now, for the new TV series, former The Office veteran John Krasinski is taking over the role, and he recently revealed why he's actually a good fit for the type of superhero Jack Ryan is onscreen and in the novels. Just don't ever ask him to play Superman. He said:

I think that there's an everyman quality to Jack that certainly my character in _The Office _[Jim Halpert] had, and I think that's what I connected to. There was a nerdy part of me as a kid that went, 'Oh, I could be Jack Ryan' whereas I couldn't be Superman. There is such an appeal to playing a guy who is a real person, that you might see in a bar -- he's an actual superhero that could exist.

Despite being goofy and lovable and not super fit during his tenure on The Office, like many funny actors with aspirations of crossing over genres, John Krasinski got fit. Maybe not Chris Hemsworth or Dwayne Johnson ripped, but he worked out a lot and put on 25 pounds of muscle for 13 Hours. He's certainly fit enough these days to play Jack Ryan or a type of character of that ilk, but the actor also seems to know the exact niche he fits in character-wise, even if it gives him the option to play lovable comedic characters and serious dramatic ones. In fact, he recently told the Independent that there's always been a part of him that knew he could be a sort of "everyman" hero, just not the type of hero who could fly or see through walls.

I was able to see the pilot for Jack Ryan at San Diego Comic-Con during an Amazon panel earlier this summer and in the first epiode John Krasinski's version of Jack Ryan is different from past iterations, but similar in other ways. The pilot episode of Jack Ryan is a little heavy on catching the audience up to the time and place and the potential threat at hand, but during its quieter moments we see Jack Ryan working out like a normal dude and biking to work like a normal dude. He even has awkward but cute and believable exchanges with women like a normal dude. He's certainly not a Superman type, but he is brainy and he pushes to make one of his theories known to his new boss about a new terrorist threat. I'm not saying anyone could do those sorts of things, but at the end of the day, Jack Ryan is just a guy.

If you'd like to see how John Krasinski plays Jack Ryan, the new Amazon series will begin streaming on August 31. Unlike Netflix, Amazon prefers event programming and with Jack Ryan, new episodes will be added to the service weekly and eight episodes will be available overall. Jack Ryan is also a special series in that the subscription streaming service has already signed on for Season 2. So, if you like what you see, you definitely don't need to be worried about the new show getting cancelled.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.