‘Reacher’ Star Alan Ritchson Lost Out on Thor After Not Taking Audition ‘Seriously,’ Assumed Marvel Cared About Looks Over Acting

Before starring as the title role in the hit Prime Video series “Reacher,” Alan Ritchson had auditioned for several notable superheroes and action heroes throughout his career, including Marvel’s Thor. In a new Men’s Health cover story, Ritchson revealed that he auditioned for the hammer-wielding god of thunder and, because of his appearance, figured he’d be a shoo-in for the lead in the 2011 Marvel film.

“I didn’t take it seriously,” Ritchson said of the audition. “I was like, ‘They’ll throw me the part if I look like the guy; nobody really cares about acting,'” The casting team, though, told Ritchson’s reps that the actor hadn’t shown that he had “the craft,” and the part ultimately went to Chris Hemsworth.

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At that point in his career, Ritchson had appeared on “American Idol,” played Aquaman in a few episodes of “Smallville,” and scored his comedic breakout role as Thad Castle in the Spike TV sitcom “Blue Mountain State.” He expected “that there would be a cornucopia of comedies for me to choose from” after “Blue Mountain State,” but he was not receiving any offers.

After his failed “Thor” audition, Ritchson took acting more seriously by enrolling in classes and booking smaller roles on shows like “Black Mirror,” “New Girl” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” He then nabbed a recurring role in “Titans” as Hank Hall/Hawk from 2019 to 2021. These projects paved the way to Ritchson’s breakthrough success in “Reacher.”

“I had about 50 offers the weekend after Season 1 of ‘Reacher’ opened,” Ritchson said. “I knew my life had changed.”

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