The Popeyes Order Alan Ritchson Used To Bulk Up For His Role In Reacher

Jack Reacher may be fictional, but Alan Ritchson, who plays the tough-as-nails ex-military fighter and vigilant is very real. Working hard to earn this highly competitive role, Ritchson knew he was stepping into something larger than life. As he shared with Cinema Blend recently, "Anybody would be happy and lucky to play Reacher, so yeah, it was a very competitive process, and I'm eternally grateful that I ended up with the part." In order to nail that part, the already fit actor worked with a special diet to become even more jacked and put on a whopping 30 pounds of muscle.

During a recent appearance on "The Kelly Clarkson Show," Ritchson confirmed the added weight and asked guest host Derek Hough, "Have you ever put on 30 pounds? It's a full-time job to eat enough to put on 30 pounds. I had an assistant whose only job was to bring me food. It was like a conveyor belt of smoothies and protein." He then said that when it came to packing on the pounds for his role, he got "pretty clever" with the process.

 And what, might you ask, is Ritchson's diet trick? Popeye's chicken of course.

It takes a big appetite to play Jack Reacher

In order to reach "Reacher size," Ritchson had to heavily load up on food. As the actor described to Hough on "The Kelly Clarkson Show," "I would order the crew Popeye's Chicken Sandwiches, cookies, just so I could get the kind of calories I wanted. It looks like a goodwill gesture. 'Leave a dozen of those in my trailer, please!'" Getting tasty and delicious chicken, sharing with a hard-working crew, and also fitting into a great role? Now that's a recipe for success.

Ritchson was already impressive at 6' 4" and 235 pounds, but his weight gain boosted him even closer to the fictional Reacher, who reportedly stood at 6' 5" and weighed in at 250 pounds (via Deadline). 

Popeye's Chicken Sandwich is definitely an effective approach to adding some calories with a single sandwich boasting 699 calories, and 380 of those calories from fat. Fan's of the favored sandwich think it's the best around, as one Redditor shares, "I've never had a juicier, crispier, thiccccer [sic] fried chicken sandwich from a fast food joint than a Popeye's number 9."