REACHER Star Alan Ritchson for MEN’S HEALTH Magazine

Posted on February 27, 2024


He’s always had the look, but for actor Alan Ritchson, the celebrity is new. Hollywood told him actors don’t break past 30. But he kept working, and at 41, after decades of near misses and tiny roles, the Reacher star is busting out. This month, Ritchson stars opposite Hilary Swank in Ordinary Angels, and he has a role in Guy Ritchie’s The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, out in April. Ritchson proves there’s power in patience. Now on the cover of MEN’S HEALTH’s March/April issue, the Fit At Any Age issue, Ritchson opens up about his decades-long road to Reacher-dom, making a move into the dramatic realm, the challenges of bipolar disorder, and more. Plus, in Men’s Health “Gym & Fridge” cover video, Ritchson gives a peek at his home gym and fridge, from his wife’s homemade meatloaf and his obsession with cookie dough to the secrets of how he stays jacked for his role as Jack Reacher.




On being bullied as a late-blooming teenager in Florida, especially once a tumor began pushing his chin bone out: “When you haven’t hit puberty and you’re 17 and you’ve got a face growing out of your face, it fortifies a sense of kindness that I’m grateful for.”

On meeting his wife, Catherine, in a ballet class while in high school—finally speaking to his crush after recruiting a friend to find out whether she had any interests that might serve as an in: “After the millionth time of us sitting next to each other, inches away, tying our shoes—so now it’s super awkward—I was like, ‘So I heard you ice-skate.’ She was like the sweetest thing in the world.”

On a long cycle of high expectations and profound disappointments, thinking he’d made it after landing a multi-season run as bombastic football captain Thad Castle on the Spike TV sitcom Blue Mountain State: “I just sort of expected that there would be a cornucopia of comedies for me to choose from, and nobody really wanted to see me for anything.”

On fumbling his audition for 2011’s Thor, a role had been his to lose: “I didn’t take it seriously. I was like, ‘They’ll throw me the part if I look like the guy; nobody really cares about acting.’”

On when Hollywood finally took notice: “I had about 50 offers the weekend after season 1 of Reacher opened [in 2022]. I knew my life had changed.”

On testosterone-replacement therapy (TRT), which he tried at the suggestion of his doctor: “People can think what they want, but I work out very hard.”

On the stigma around supplemental testosterone: “I didn’t even know that it was considered an anabolic steroid to some people. It was just: There was a hormone that was missing for me, and I needed it.”

On moving into the dramatic realm, deciding to play beleaguered father Ed Schmitt in Ordinary Angels, “I needed a stark juxtaposition.”

On the precariousness of Hollywood: “The industry’s funny. It can’t be relied on. You have to be very patient with it.”

On how his manic episodes manifest in relatively harmless ways at home: “It’s this thing like I gotta find a perfectly white pair of shoes that look like a tennis shoe but aren’t. Three days later, eight pairs of shoes show up that are all identical. And I’m like, ‘Oh, shit, I’m manic right now.’”

On how his bipolar disorder symptoms can manifest on set: “When I’m feeling depressed, it doesn’t really matter, because I am so focused at work. I could go weeks without people even knowing I feel a certain way. When I’m manic and I feel like something isn’t living up to its best potential, it usually comes out in a very—not in a mean way—but in a ‘this has to be better’ way. Like a very, almost obsessive ‘this has to be better.’ ”

On racing his Ducati V 4R along the winding mountain roads in Georgia, a pastime he considers meditative rather than terrifying: “It’s like a mental bath.”

On how much he can bench: “I’ve actually been asked this question a million times and I’d never tested myself until a week ago. I threw up 355. I did it six times, so that was not my max. I didn’t feel safe doing more, because I was alone.”

On the best cheat meal: “Mac and cheese. For sure. Love mac and cheese.”


The March/April “Fit At Any Age” issue of Men’s Health hits newsstands nationwide on March 5.


[Photo Credit: AB + DM for Men’s Health Magazine]

Please review our Community Guidelines before posting a comment. Thank you!

blog comments powered by Disqus