Canadian actor, Hugh Thompson (‘’’Chapelwaite’’) made his return to the screen alongside Alan Ritchson in the acclaimed series “Reacher” on Amazon recently. Thompson is Baker, the head cop of Margrave, described as a man that enjoys his position of power but hates Detective Finlay (Malcolm Goodwin) in the 8-episode first season.
We caught up with Thompson after the show’s season finale to talk everything “Reacher”.
What a series! Were you as surprised by the script, when you received it, as the critics were both the overall quality of the series? It’s truly a really surprise package
I wouldn’t say that I was surprised by the quality of the scripts given the team assembled to work on this project. What I would say is that from the moment I started reading I said to myself, “how much fun is THAT?” Very glad to be part of something that has been so well received and a success.
Were you familiar with the two Tom Cruise-starring ‘Jack Reacher’ movies?
I came to this in the blessed position of not having seen those pictures. I started clean slate, but as the first season of the series is based on Lee Child’s first novel in the Reacher series (Killing Floor), I got myself out to the bookstore and started educating myself about the world that this character inhabits.
Where do you start playing a character like Baker? Does it involve riding around in some squad cars or getting a feel for the police life?
Prepping to play Baker was more fun than it should have been. Jon Koensgen (fellow castmate) and I did some firearms training, and got to hammer around in some stunt cars for a few hours so we’d be able to look authentic on the day. Jon did way better on the driving so he got to have all the fun; I put it down to the fact that he’s several decades younger; in addition, there’s also the fact that Jon’s a better driver😊
What makes Baker tick?
I think like most of us he’s developed a way of moving along in the world according to what he thinks is important. Finlay doesn’t really figure into Baker’s plans for the rest of his life, so I’d agree that Finlay was probably never invited to the Baker family barbecue.
How much of the script were you provided with ahead of time? Were you aware of who our villains were?
I would receive scripts as we went along; I always looked forward to seeing how the writers crafted each episode through the season…some cool surprises along the way for sure.
You were blessed to be able to work with some huge names so early in your career – Van Damme, Al Pacino, James Caan – what did you learn from working with those legends that you’d take and apply to your own performance or work ethic later?
Being on set with Al Pacino was a very special time for me; what I remember is how approachable and generous with his time he was. I think process and work ethic mean different things to different people, but to be involved in the process with him was an instruction in how to collaborate with all the different elements that make up a day.
And the most important question, is Alan Ritchson that big in real-life? Or does the screen add a foot!?
How big is Alan Ritchson? Well, the best description I have heard is; “he’s like an aircraft carrier with arms and legs”.
Reacher is now screening on Amazon