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July 30, 2018 at 12:00 PM EDT

When John Krasinski was approached about playing Jack Ryan in the upcoming Amazon series Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, he thought back to a recent film he’d done. “I had done 13 Hours which was so new to me and I loved every single second of it,” Krasinski says. “It really was about getting to the truth of the story, to the truth of the people, and to make sure that you captured the essence of who you were playing and the world that they were in. That really taught me how to approach this role too, that as much as this is a Hollywood entertainment character, it really is representative of so many incredible men and women who have dedicated their lives to the rest of us and this incredible feeling of pride in our country.”

GALLERY: Exclusive first look photos of John Krasinski in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan

Jan Thijs/Amazon

Once he said yes to the role, Krasinski’s preparation involved a mix of physical training and researching both the character and the real-life CIA. “The research that I did was mostly getting to know an ex-CIA officer that we had consulting with us, and then going to the actual CIA and meeting these men and women was amazing,” Krasinski says. “I was blown away by a lot of things with the CIA — how incredibly diverse the place was and how apolitical. There was no politics being discussed, it was about objectives of protecting people and getting to the truth of the matter, which I thought was really interesting. And then the other thing was how perfectly and weirdly comfortingly normal everybody was. It wasn’t one-thousand Arnold Schwarzennegers out there fighting the world for us. It was really these people who, like Jack, have been in other jobs and just decided, ‘I want to do more for my country.’ It was an unbelievable place and I feel so lucky to be representing them.”

Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan premieres on August 31 on Amazon.

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