The Fall Guy Is Ryan Gosling, Emily Blunt, & David Leitch’s Love Letter to Action Moviemaking

March 7, 2024

This article appears in the SXSW 2024 issue of Den of Geek magazine. Check out all of our SXSW coverage here. The Fall Guy wasn’t supposed to be a romance. Or at least it didn’t start out that way. But when Ryan Gosling came on board to collaborate on the script, the shape of the wildly ambitious action […]

The post The Fall Guy Is Ryan Gosling, Emily Blunt, & David Leitch’s Love Letter to Action Moviemaking appeared first on Den of Geek.

Alan Ritchson has become well-known for playing beefy characters with a strong sense of justice after starring in Titans as Hank Hall/Hawk and his current gig as the titular hero in Prime Video’s Reacher. But before playing TV’s biggest boy Jack Reacher, Ritchson appeared in a variety of movies and TV shows, some more unexpected than others.

cnx.cmd.push(function() {
playerId: “106e33c0-3911-473c-b599-b1426db57530”,


From Brooklyn Nine-Nine to New Girl, here are some of Alan Ritchson’s weirdest pre-Reacher roles.

Gloss – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Alan Ritchson doesn’t have much screen time in the Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire, but in that short amount of time he’s able to give a surprising amount of depth to his character. Gloss was raised as a career tribute from District 1, and went on to win his year, only to be thrust into the arena once again in the Quarter Quell. Gloss and many of the other victors have enjoyed the life of luxury promised to them by the Capitol after their victory in their respective Hunger Games, and are unhappy that they are once again being forced to fight to the death. Even Gloss, who grew up in the shadow of the Capitol and more privy to its propaganda isn’t afraid to show his disdain during his pre-games interview. As the character’s name suggests, Gloss isn’t meant to be much more than a tool for the Capitol, but thanks to Ritchson, we get to see a bit more of his humanity lurking under his shiny surface.

Arthur Curry/Aquaman – Smallville

Believe it or not, Alan Ritchson was the first actor to bring a live-action version of Aquaman to life in the CW show Smallville. He only appeared a few times throughout the series’ 10 season run, but was an important addition to the show’s makeshift Justice League team. Due to the origin-story nature of Smallville, we got to know Arthur Curry more than the aquatic superhero he would eventually become. Arthur and Clark didn’t always get along either, and it was nice to see someone show Clark that there’s more than one way to save the world. Though Ritchson was still incredibly fit in this role, he obviously had to have more of a swimmer’s physique, and it’s interesting to see him play a hero that can’t just punch his way out of a fight.

Matt – New Girl

New Girl had so many great guest stars over its seven season run, but if there’s one actor that I wish could have been in more episodes, it’s Alan Ritchson. He guest stars in the season 4 episode “Micro” as Matt, an artist that Jess starts dating. Once she discovers that he has a micropenis, she makes a bet with the guys to continue dating him and prove that she’s not shallow. However, his endowment becomes the least of her concerns once Jess gets to know Matt and discovers that he has a terrible personality. Between his tattoo that says “warrior poet,” his strange abbreviation of words, and the fact that he already has a girlfriend, Matt isn’t a great guy! But Ritchson’s comedic timing is so spot on, that I truly wish we could have seen more of him.

Young Norm Scully – Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Ritchson also made a brief appearance in the sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine as a young, hot, capable version of Detective Norm Scully, who is very well-known in the present day for being the stark opposite of hot and capable. During flashbacks in the season six episode “Hitchcock & Scully,” Ritchson’s Scully is seen taking down a mob boss alongside a younger, hotter Hitchcock. We also get to see how Wing Slutz became Hitchcock and Scully’s downfall. While this young, action-hero version of Scully is more in-line with Ritchson’s recent roles, it’s still unexpected to see him play the younger version of a character we’ve seen primarily as comedic relief for six seasons. Honestly, between this and his appearance on New Girl, Ritchson deserves to be on more sitcoms.

Arthur Bailey – Blood Drive

If you watched the Syfy channel at all in 2017, you might remember seeing trailers for the Grindhouse series Blood Drive, or you may have even been brave enough to watch it. I had personally blocked all memory of this show from existence until recently, but there’s no way I’m making a list of Alan Ritchson’s weirdest roles without it. 

Blood Drive is a post-apocalyptic show set in an alternate 1999 where “The Great Fracking Quakes” and a global gas shortage have led humanity to develop cars that run on the next best thing – human blood. Yes, you read that correctly. In this show, Ritchson plays Arthur Bailey, an LA cop who finds himself forced to participate in a gory death race alongside Femme Fatale Grace D’Argento. This death race is full of cannibals, blood thirsty criminals, and so much blood. This show is certainly not for the faint of heart, and proves to be an intriguing entry in Ritchson’s filmography.

The post Alan Ritchson’s Weirdest Pre-Reacher Roles appeared first on Den of Geek.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *