‘Reacher’ Star Alan Ritchson Reveals The Unlikely Actor Who Was His Hero Growing Up

While Reacher star Alan Ritchson plays the tough and taciturn title character in the hit action series, he says it was not a dramatic actor, but a comedy icon who inspired him creatively growing up.

Lionsgate's "Ordinary Angels" New York Premiere

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 19: Alan Ritchson attends the Lionsgate’s “Ordinary Angels” New York … [+]WIREIMAGE,

Ritchson — whose film career is heating up after the success of the first two seasons of Prime Video’s Reacher — told The Hollywood Reporter this week that Jim Carrey’s work in the 1994 comedy classic Ace Ventura: Pet Detective inspired him so much that he was imitating the star for years.

“He was my hero. When Ace Ventura came out I was in sixth grade and I was enamored,” Ritchson told THR. “He was so physical, goofy and unafraid. I’d never seen anything like it. I dressed up as Ace Ventura for three Halloweens in a row. I showed up to school and wouldn’t break character the entire time.”

Ritchson said that he had all the bases covered while playing the movie’s pet detective, and even risked humiliation to get a reaction from his classmates.

“I had the hair, the business card and I would walk up to people at their lunch tables and say, ‘Excuse me, I’d like to ass you a few questions,’” Ritchson recalled for THR. “People hated it, but I love that it made most people laugh. Jim Carrey knew how to do that and it’s a gift.”

Ritchson told THR that he had a near brush with Carrey in 1998 when the actor was filming some scenes for The Truman Show in a Florida city close to where his family lived at the time. Ritchson’s family managed to get close to the film’s set, hoping to get the comedy great’s attention long enough to sign an Ace Ventura: Pet Detective movie poster.

“We waited for him to come out of his trailer. My mom spotted him and went, ‘There he is!’ I unveiled my poster and said, ‘Hey, Jim!’ He looked over and did this big belly laugh by arching his spine backwards,” Ritchson recalled for the trade publication.

However, any further interaction with Carrey was thwarted by film security.

“My brother and I ran over to him, but a security guard was there,” Ritchson told THR. “He put his hand on a gun and said, ‘Don’t go any closer.’ Jim was caught in this place where he wanted to sign it but had to go to work, so he just wandered off. That’s as close as I’ve gotten.”

Ritchson Next Stars As A Real-Life Soldier In A WWII Movie

While Alan Ritchson’s intimidating actions as the strong and silent type have drawn several laughs in the first two seasons of Reacher, the actor’s work in the past few years has mostly come in action films and dramas.

In 2023, Ritchson played a supporting role in Fast X, the latest film in Vin Diesel’s muscle car-turned-big machine franchise. Then, in February 2024, Ritchson co-starred in the faith-based drama Ordinary Angels opposite Hilary Swank.

Ritchson will next star in the upcoming World War II film The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. Ritchson plays Anders Lassen, a real-life Danish soldier who joined British forces in an unauthorized special mission behind enemy lines to thwart a Nazi plan.

Directed by Guy Ritchie and also starring Henry Cavill, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare opens in theaters on April 19.

Ritchson will also return for Reacher Season 3, but Prime Video has not yet announced a release date.

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