As Lee Child’s website states, Jack Reacher’s adventures arise from his roaming across the U.S.: “He’ll arrive in town, come across someone who needs his help, solve a mystery and take out the bad guys, and then get on the next bus out of town.” Alan Ritchson not only had the brawn required for such a role but having grown up as the son of an Air Force officer and getting used to the nomadic lifestyle that came with it, he also had an insight into Jack Reacher’s mental state. As Ritchson told /Film in a 2022 interview, “I get what that life does to you.”

But it seems that wasn’t enough to convince the casting producers of “Reacher.” Despite — as Ritchson told Men’s Journal — weighing 205 pounds at the time, standing 6 feet 3 inches, and generally representing something close to a Jack Reacher type, the producers just didn’t think he was right for the part. As the actor told Collider:

“It’s funny, I actually didn’t get the role at first. I’m not exactly six foot five and I’m not exactly 250, and I had heard that they were being very specific with their physical demands. After working with Tom Cruise and a lot of fans being upset that he didn’t really have the physicality, as great as he was in the role, they really wanted to get that right. I was like, ‘Well, they wanna read me, but I know they’re gonna find someone like Dwayne Johnson, who’s a huge dude.’ I auditioned for the part and it was good, it was just that my take on it was a little different than what they had in mind, at the time.”