In the very first episode of “Reacher,” after protecting his cellmate, the former soldier takes on a whole prison gang of five, who accost him in the bathroom in what is one of the season’s best fight scenes. And it turns out there’s a reason it’s so memorable: Alan Ritchson had months to prepare for it. Speaking to /Film, the actor revealed that as filming went on, he had less and less time to learn the choreography and prepare for each fight scene. But in the case of the prison gang beatdown, he couldn’t have been more ready:

“By virtue of the fact that we were in prep, I think I had the most time to invest in the prison fight, which is in the pilot and is a renowned fight in [the novel] ‘Killing Floor’ for readers. I wanted to get that right, and it took a lot of effort and we got it to the point where we could shoot it over and over again in one take. That was cool, but it took months.”

Over the course of shooting, Ritchson found he has less and less time to learn choreography and was, by the end of production, “learning fights in a parking lot, wherever we were shooting at the time, trying to get it ready for the next day.” Not that it shows. The fights in Reacher are all similarly brutal and it’s certainly not obvious that Ritchson ran out of time towards the end of the season. And if he’d been repeatedly running the choreography for the all-important prison brawl, he was likely well prepared for everything that followed.