Jack Ryan was our James Bond, but with a lot less sex: John Krasinsky
London: Jack Ryan, the dashing CIA agent from Tom Clancy's novels, is the American counterpart of British fictional spy James Bond but with a moral compass and a "lot less sex", says Hollywood star John Krasinksi, the latest to play the character with many screen avatars over the years.
The second season of Amazon Prime's "Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan", which drops in on November 1, will see the character evolve from being an uncertain CIA analyst to a "morally ambiguous" field agent, which Krasinski says he found interesting.
"For me, Jack Ryan was a huge character growing up. He was our James Bond, just a lot less sex. I think Jack Ryan is someone that I really bonded with as a kid because he was always doing the right thing. He was a true do gooder in the face of real adversity and questions. He always seemed to have his moral compass," Krasinski told a select group of journalists, including PTI, here last week.
The 39-year-old actor said the Amazon Prime Original series has contemporarised the character, which made its first appearance in Clancy's 1984 debut novel "The Hunt for Red October".
"Jack Ryan was definitely a character that was born out of the Cold War. So the books felt like they were frozen in time and sort of dealing with the geopolitical situation of that day, so to be able to modernise them, we are really proud of that," he said.
Krasinski's credits include his popular turn as Jim Halpert in the US version of "The Office" and horror film "A Quiet Place", in which he starred with his wife actor Emily Blunt besides writing and directing it.
The first season of "Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan" debuted in August 2018 to critical acclaim.
The actor said while each season can be watched as a stand alone, the show beautifully captures his character's transition from being a deskie to this field agent who has to get his hands dirty.
"In the first season, he tells you like 14 times that he's just an analyst. And that's what he always wanted to be, just the guy who delivers the information and never gets into a fight. By the end of season one, Jack learns firsthand that you have to be able to get into the fight and also know that the fight is not black and white," he said.
The actor said he loved the overlap of layers and textures as Jack Ryan gradually becomes "more morally ambiguous, which is really exciting to play but also kind of sad".
Krasinski said the second season will have a lot more action.
"My favourite action sequence actually happened here in London. I've obviously been to London many times but to actually shoot here, I'd never done that before and to shoot right outside of Piccadilly and shut down Piccadilly and be outside the National Gallery and have stunts going on and gunshots going off in the middle of London was pretty intense," he said.
Krasinski is the fifth actor to play Jack Ryan, following Harrison Ford ("Patriot Games" and "Clear and Present Danger", Alec Baldwin ("The Hunt for Red October), Chris Pyne ("Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit") and Ben Affleck (The Sum of all Fears").