John Krasinski has known Jack Ryan for a while now. Long before Krasinski put on Ryan’s combat boots to start filming Amazon’s Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, he sat in a movie theater — or rather the comfort of his own home — and watched the character come to life on the big screen. “I knew the movies first,” Krasinski tells EW. “And then as I got older I was able to attack books.”
Author Tom Clancy first created the character of Jack Ryan in 1984. The CIA analyst has since appeared in 20 books and five film adaptations, with Krasinski’s turn as the character marking the first television adaptation. “You realize that it’s a world unlike any other,” Krasinski says of the books. “For me, the reason to do the show was the character. These characters come around only once in a while and weirdly I felt like, if I was ever going to play a superhero, that this is a great one for me.”
After all, Krasinski says the thing that connects people to Jack is the fact that he’s a real person. The character is a former Marine who worked on Wall Street and then decided to join the CIA. From there, he becomes a sort of action hero simply out of a desire to protect and serve his country. “He’s not Superman, he’s not Iron Man, he doesn’t have any superpowers,” Krasinski says. “He’s a person that you can really root for because he’s on the front lines being heroic by just using his brain and his instincts.”
And fans will definitely be rooting for Jack when Amazon’s new series presents them with a version of the character who’s less than four years into his work at the CIA. In other words, he’s still got a long way to go before he reaches superhero status.
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan hits Amazon on August 31.