The now-hugely muscular action star says he had a recent encounter with one of his childhood bullies while in Florida: “He forgot what he did, but I didn’t.”
Alan Ritchson wasn’t always the physically intimidating action hero you see today.
The Reacher star opened up about his experiences with childhood bullying in a recent interview, where he described being a more sensitive and artistic boy growing up in Florida.
The self-described “very late bloomer” told The Wall Street Journal he grew up in the ironically-named Niceville, Florida, which he said “had plenty of mean kids when I grew up there.”
“The city is on the state’s panhandle so it’s part of the South, which means sports. As a kid who was an artist but didn’t know it yet, I had my share of bullying,” the 41-year-old said.
“Early on, I wasn’t physically built the way I am now, and I loved expressing myself through music, singing and in-line skating. Not ideal for a guy in an area where all the dudes wore mullets and pulled up to school in four wheelers,” he continued.
He then recalled a recent encounter with a former bully.
“Before we left Florida, I ran into one of the guys who teased me in high school. He wanted a selfie. I was happy to oblige, but it felt strange,” the heavily muscled star said. “He forgot what he did, but I didn’t.”
Meanwhile, Ritchson recently told Men’s Health UK that he’s undergone hormone therapy.
For season 1 of Reacher, Ritchson said “I ravaged my body” to pack on the muscle.
“I mean, I had a broken AC (acromioclavicular) joint in my shoulder, [which] I had to have repaired. There was a huge imbalance in hormones in my body. I was falling apart. So while I made it happen, it’s probably true that it shouldn’t happen that fast, that way,” of the eight months he took to gain roughly 30 pounds.
For season 2 of the Prime show he took a different approach.
“Getting on testosterone was huge for me,” he explained. “I had none by the time I was done with season one, due to the stress and the fatigue and what I had done to my body.”
“For me, it’s a long game. I want to do Reacher for 15 years,” Ritchson noted. “I don’t want to have to have surgery after every season, and testosterone helps.”
“I’m a big advocate of it, especially for people in their forties or above. [Men aren’t] aware that it’s out there, but it could be really life changing. It could be a mood stabilizer for people… It can do a lot more than just help you be buff, but it certainly helped in my journey.”
However, that doesn’t mean he skips the gym.
“It definitely helps with muscle growth. If you take a little bit and then you work your ass off in the gym like you normally would, you’re going to see huge results.”